When he wakes up in his Californian house in Huntington Beach, on this Saturday, April 10, 2021, Erik Denton, 31, is as radiant as the sun which points above the waves of the Pacific. The next day, he has to pick up his three wonders, Joanna, 3, Terry, 2, and Sierra, 6 months, from Liliana Carrillo, 30, his ex-partner, mother of the children, and nothing puts him in touch. joy. He goes in the shower, because he still needs time to tidy up and clean the house properly to accommodate as well as he wants these three little pieces of cabbage that are his whole life.
The suddenly ringing phone forces him out of the bathroom. It’s 10:30 am On the other end of the line, he recognizes the strangled voice of Gabriella, Liliana’s mother herself, but Erik cannot catch a word of what she is trying to say to him. When, at last, he understands, he freezes, falls to his knees, and starts screaming. He will never see his three children again. Liliana just killed them.
“I drowned them. I did it as gently as possible. I hugged them. I kissed them …”
By justifying it in a terrifying way. The young woman says indeed that what she did “is right”. In a mind-blowing interview with a local NBC branch in Kern County Jail where she has been locked up since her arrest, she claims she killed her children to protect them from their father’s abuse . “I drowned them. I did it as gently as possible. I hugged them. I kissed them. I apologized all the time. I adored my children. I just didn’t want them to be any more. mistreated. I would have liked not to kill them, but I had promised to protect them, “she explains.
To understand these words, we have to go back. After the birth of her second child, in 2019, the young woman shows signs of postpartum depression. In 2020, after the birth of her third child, the symptoms become more severe. Faced with Erik’s insistence, she consults a therapist, but refuses treatment and, deciding to self-medicate, takes cannabis in particular.
Influenced by QAnon’s conspiracy theories, she persuades herself that their father is part of a pedophile ring
On Facebook, she then expresses “pervasive and random feelings of despair and pain”. Confides that she “hates being a mother and wishes she could go back”. During this bad patch, the couple separates and Liliana begins to approve the conspiratorial discourse of QAnon (American far-right movement which claims that the world elites organize pedophile, cannibal and satanic orgies). She is obsessed with the idea that Porterville, not far from L.A., where she lives, is the site of a child sex trafficking ring.
Last February, the situation deteriorated further. Liliana now accuses Erik of being part of the pedophile ring and of abusing children. Worried about the mental state of his ex-girlfriend, the dad tries to convince the judge to grant him custody of the three children, considering that their mother is dangerous for them. On March 1, he obtains their sole custody and will be able to recover them on March 12. Obviously, Liliana refuses, counter-attacks in court and asks for a restraining order against Erik because of the violence. A hearing is set for April 14 and, in the meantime, the children will stay with their mothers.
Despite the father’s alerts, social services and the police did not act
Distraught, the father, accompanied by his cousin Terri Miller, 35, doctor, alerts the police, social and psychiatric services. “But nobody did anything!”, He yelled after the drama to the reporter from the Los Angeles Times who tries to question him. On April 10, Liliana sent one hundred “curvy and incoherent” pages of handwritten notes and images to the custody judge and several media outlets, alleging that Porterville is “the root of all evil”. “I’m taking my children out of this world because nothing will ever be the same again,” she wrote on the last page. “There is no turning back.” She just killed them.
“Erik is completely destroyed,” confides his cousin Terri. His children were everything. I mean, his whole being and his existence revolved around his children. He was supposed to go get them the next day … It’s horrible. ” The Denton family are considering legal action as their anger is so strong against the social services and the Los Angeles police who, according to them, did not act quickly enough. If they had, perhaps this tragedy could have been avoided …
Liliana Carrillo © KGET TV