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Motive sought in triple slaying where toddler was found

September 7, 2011 |  8:07 am
Banning

Boy3 Police are searching for clues in a triple slaying at a Banning home that ended with authorities finding a 2-year-old boy alive.

The boy was bound and gagged inside a converted bathroom in an apartment in the 100 block of North Phillips Street, Banning Police Chief Leonard T. Purvis said. The child was uninjured and taken to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning.

Purvis said the bodies of the parents -- a man and woman -- and another woman were found at various locations in in the apartment. He said investigators had not established a motive for the slayings but added that they did not appear to be a murder-suicide.

KTLA News reported that police were looking into whether drugs might have been a motive, but police said they had no suspects.

"Obviously, this is a very heinous crime," Purvis told The Times. "This doesn't happen very often in any city."

Purvis said police did an initial "protective sweep" of the apartment but did not see the child in the room.

Around the same time, police said, they received reports that a suspect had fled in a vehicle, possibly with the boy.

"We thought that this child had been taken away from the scene," Purvis said.

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Sheriff's Explorers seek witnesses in slaying of one of their own

— Robert J. Lopez (twitter.com/LAJourno) and Abby Sewell (twitter.com/@sewella)

Photos, from top: Banning police detectives at the scene; toddler is removed from home. Credits: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times; Gary McCarthy / KTLA News

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