[UPDATED with Corrected Details:] Arlet Hernandez Contreras, Fernando and Emmanuel Limas, OC Homicides Nos. 12, 13, 14: Shazer Fernando Limas May Face Death Penalty
Said originally by Orange Police to have been 2 and 4 years old, and then ages 4 months and 2 years old, Emmanuel and Fernando Limas were actually 3 months old and 1 year old respectively, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
The bodies of the boys are still missing, while their mother Arlet Hernandez Contreras's corpse was found in Los Angeles County. Local landfills are being searched with cadaver dogs.
Shazer Limas entered no plea at his Monday arraignment, which has been continued to May 23 in Santa Ana.
UPDATE, MAY 7, 1:10 P.M.: The special circumstances charges for the stabbing-murder of Arlet Hernandez Contreras and presumed killings of their two young sons make 31-year-old Shazer Fernando Limas of Orange eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors announced today.
Limas, who is being held without bail pending arraignment in Santa Ana this afternoon, is accused of three counts of special circumstances murder with sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and the personal use of a deadly weapon.
Unless Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas decides to forgo routine and decide seeking the death penalty is warranted because the crime is so heinous, he will convene a special circumstances committee consisting of himself and senior staff from his Homicide Unit to determine if Limas should face the ultimate punishment. Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit has been assigned the case.
Meanwhile, an arraignment statement from the DA's office this morning reveals the name of the young victims, their correct ages and that Limas underwent surgery for a cut to his hand the day after he allegedly stabbed Contreras and the boys to death. This timeline is presented:
Circumstances of the Case
On April 14, 2012, Limas is accused of stabbing and murdering his girlfriend 31-year-old Arlet Contreras and her sons, 2-year-old Fernando L. and 4-month-old Emmanuel L. at an Orange apartment they occupied in the 3000 block of West Chapman Avenue.
On April 15, 2012, Limas is accused of going to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for surgery on a cut to his hand.
On April 24, 2012, Limas is accused of buying a sundry of supplies at a Home Depot. He is accused of moving out of the apartment.
On April 25, 2012, Limas is accused of disposing of victim Contreras' body, which was found in the City of La Puente by County workers with multiple stab wounds that same day. Her body was found on the street in the gutter.
On April 28, 2012, Limas is accused of turning in his keys and a letter of notice to vacate to the apartment management.
On May 3, 2012, Orange Police Department (OPD) was contacted by apartment management about blood found in Limas' vacant apartment. Later that day, at approximately 6:30 p.m., OPD located Limas driving a Nissan 350Z in Santa Ana. Limas is accused of leading police on a high-speed pursuit going south of the Interstate 405 to Interstate 5. The California Highway Patrol took over the pursuit approximately 15 minutes into the pursuit. Limas was detained when his vehicle was disabled by a spike strip and he was arrested at 7:30 pm.
On May 4, 2012, OPD contacted various County Coroners' Offices and found Contreras' body at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
There are published reports indicating the father had been ordered to pay child support before the murders. Meanwhile, searchers resumed today looking for the bodies of the two children in area landfills.
The investigation continues, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at 714.347.8492 or Orange Police investigators at 714.744.7456, 714.744.7579 or 714.744.7513.
Orange homicide detectives were led to the Los Angeles County morgue after putting out a call to agencies with descriptions of the missing mother and children.
Los Angeles County Public Works employees were in East Valinda, an unincorporated part of the San Gabriel Valley, when they spotted a tarp in an area known for illegal dumping of trash and other items. A foul odor was coming from the tarp, so authorities were contacted.
Sheriff's deputies arrived and found the body of a woman who appeared to have been stabbed.
Limas, 31, moved out of his apartment at 3063 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, three days later, on April 28. A cleaning crew last week discovered bloodstains in the unit, and the apartment manager called Orange Police.
After Limas was spotted driving in Santa Ana Thursday afternoon, he led authorities on a high-speed chase south on the 5 freeway before a spike strip stopped him near the San Clemente border checkpoint. Limas sat in his car for about a half hour before surrendering.
He reportedly confessed to killing his girlfriend and children, but he is claimed not to have revealed what he did with their bodies. A search of a Brea landfill that receives rubbish from the Orange apartment turned up nothing Friday.