LANCASTER – A father has been detained after deputies responding to a child abuse call in Lancaster late Saturday night discovered two of his children dead and two others with injuries that required hospitalization.
Deputies were dispatched around 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, to a home in the 1800 block of East Avenue J-2 and found four children under the age of 10 suffering from lacerations to their bodies, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Paramedics rushed the children to a hospital where two were pronounced dead and the other two were listed in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was identified as Prospero Serna of San Bernardino County, though no specific place of residence was given. Sheriff’s officials said he was the biological father of all the victims, and described him as a “person of interest who is currently detained.”
“Homicide investigators responded to the scene and assumed control of the investigation,” according to a sheriff’s department statement. “The investigation is ongoing and there is no additional information available at this time.”
Anyone with information regarding the family is encouraged to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, or use the website lacrimestoppers.org.
UPDATED: Prospero Serna has been formally arrested on suspicion of murder and child abuse, sheriff’s officials said on Monday, Oct. 31. “Homicide detectives determined there was sufficient evidence to arrest Prospero Serna for the crimes of murder and child abuse,” the sheriff’s statement said. “However, Prospero Serna is refusing to cooperate with sheriff’s deputies … delaying his booking process.”