Woman who ‘loved being a mother’ suspected of killing her 3 young children

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(CNN) — From the outside, Carol Coronado embraced motherhood. She played with her three girls — ran after them, kissed them, smiled with them, a neighbor recalled. Her children seemingly had no shortage of joy, as evidenced by their own abundant laughter.

“She (said) she loved being a mother,” Ashley Madrid said of Coronado, her neighbor.

But the inside — at least inside her Southern California home on Tuesday — was a different story. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Coronado is believed to have killed her children. The oldest was 3 years old, the youngest all of 2 months.

Sheriff’s deputies arrived at a home in unincorporated Torrance early Tuesday evening to find “family members who told (them) that a mother had killed her children.” Inside, they found three juveniles dead and their mother “adjacent” to them, the sheriff’s department said.

Authorities told CNN affiliate KTLA the young girls were lying in a pool of blood. Their naked 30-year-old mother was holding a knife, investigators told the same station.

Coronado eventually emerged from the house, wearing little more than a blanket. Madrid told Nancy Grace of CNN’s sister network HLN that Coronado looked blankly at the ground.

“I could see the blood smears all over her face and arms and legs,” Madrid recalled. “And she was just stone-faced.”

The mother was brought to a local hospital, then to the department’s Carson Station to be booked on murder charges, said the sheriff’s department. As of Wednesday evening, online records didn’t indicate that Coronado was officially an inmate in the county, and it wasn’t known whether she had a lawyer.

So exactly what happened? And why?

There’s been no official word about a motive, nor has the sequence of events been spelled out.

Madrid had known Coronado since the latter moved into the neighborhood four to five years ago.

In that time, Madrid and Coronado would talk at the grocery store or across the fence about their children. Never did she hear any arguments or see any signs of trouble.

“Never,” the neighbor said Wednesday. “Completely opposite of what happened yesterday.”

The girls’ father was across the street working on a car when it happened, Madrid said.

“I can’t imagine how he feels, you know,” Robert Marino, a family friend, told CNN affiliate KCAL. “It’s just not right.”

By Greg Botelho

CNN’s Sonya Hamasaki and Ed Payne contributed to this report

5 comments

    • Melissa hooper

      And now there dad has to face his worst nightmare of putting his children in the ground no Parent should have to go through what he is going through I will keep him in my prayers and God bless

  • Factsseeker

    The murder of a child by a parent is about the most vile crime on the planet because your children at that age are so dependent and vulnerable. To make the excuse that there must be something mentally wrong, is simply not good enough. All violent criminals clearly have something wrong in there heads. The usual human empathy and impulse control areas of the brain are miswired. This applies to child molestors, to thieves and murderers and other psychopaths. All of them could really use the ‘abnormal’ excuse. It is now time the child protection system stops making ‘mental health’ excuses for mothers at the expense of the children. This is a much bigger problem than the small number of children killed by their parent that we see reported in the media. There are hundreds of thousands of children in the US who are abused by their mothers and there are even many more instances that are not reported or simply denied. These children’s lives are ruined even if they are not killed. then, still even a much greater problem is child emotional abuse. This is not even on the radar at present by the child protection authorities. The lack of action by the child protection authorities is creating millions of mentally damaged children who grow up to be damaged adults in the US and society pays over and over. It is time to start being honest about the problem.

  • Eric Draven

    Most women are bat Shtit crazy.. but the courts seem to think its the best place for them in a divorce, always ignoring the father…. Now the courts will bend over backwards to protect this woman’s rights and to make sure she is treated fairly and taken care of. I work in a jail, woman are treated so much better than the men it really makes me sick! Im willing to bet the father of the kids knew something was going wrong with this nut case, he may bear some of the responsibility for his lack of preventing this when he knew she was on the verge of snaping…

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