Crime & Justice

Mother in custody for allegedly trying to drown daughters in South LA

Los Angeles Police Department cruiser.
Los Angeles Police Department cruiser.

A woman is in custody for allegedly trying to drown her 1-year-old and 5-year-old girls in her South Los Angeles bathroom this morning, police said.

The 1-year-old was pronounced dead later this morning at California Hospital Medical Center after doctors worked on trying to revive her for two hours, said spokeswoman Katreena Salgado. The 5-year-old is in stable but critical condition and will be transferred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Salgado said.

Both girls were taken to the hospital with no vital signs and doctors worked feverishly for two hours to revive them after paramedics were unsuccessful, said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

Firefighters responded to the 911 medical emergency call in the 900 block of West 50th Street at 7:27 a.m. and found the two girls in the bathroom unconscious and not breathing, but still alive, Smith said.

The family lives in a converted garage and police believe the two girls were found in the back bathroom by their father this morning who heard a commotion and stopped the mother from drowning the girls, and then called 911, Smith said. When police arrived on scene they found the mother sitting calmly nearby, Smith said.

"The way we got the description from the father and other people that were there, led us to believe the mother was responsible for what happened," Smith said. "I believe other family members were there."

Smith did not have more details on the woman or why police believe she tried to drown her kids. He said it will likely be a long investigation and that detectives from the department's Abused Child Unit would be handling the case.

"It's just a terrible, tragic situation here," Smith said. "We believe that she is responsible for what happened here. It appears that these two children drowned, or were nearly drowned at the hands of their mother at some point today. I don't have the exact circumstances."

This story has been updated.