Child deaths in Lancaster: Father arrested for murder and child abuse after two children killed and two injured

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Monday, October 30, 2023, 6:43 p.m

2 children dead, 2 hospitalized after child abuse call in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) — A father is under arrest after two of his children were killed and two were hospitalized in what investigators described as an “attack” at a Lancaster home.

Prospero Serna, who lives in San Bernardino County, was initially arrested as a person of interest as Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators examined the violent crime scene from Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Now the sheriff’s department says enough evidence has been collected to arrest Serna on murder and child abuse charges. They added that he was not cooperating with deputies, which caused a delay in his booking process.

The video in the player above is from a previous report on this incident.

The night the department responded, videos from the scene showed him physically struggling to restrain himself, requiring the use of multiple officers to pin him to the ground and take him into custody.

The investigation began just before midnight Saturday when the children’s mother called 911 for help because her children were injured.

When officers arrived, they found four children in a bedroom, all with serious injuries.

The victims, all under 10 years old, were taken to a hospital, authorities said. Two of them were pronounced dead at the facility, the other two were in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries.


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies took a man into custody after responding to a report of child abuse in Lancaster on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

Don Luis Meza

“We don’t know exactly where the attack occurred, but they were all found in a bedroom,” Lt. Daniel Vizcarra of the Sheriff’s Department on Sunday.

“It is extremely difficult,” he added. “This is traumatic for everyone involved. All the deputies who responded, all the parties involved, the investigators, everyone.”

The county Department of Children and Family Services declined to say whether the family had been investigated for possible child abuse in the past, citing confidentiality laws.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s homicide unit at (323) 890-5500.

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Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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