Father found mom trying to drown two young daughters, police say
The South L.A. father of two little girls clinging to life Wednesday morning came home from the grocery store to find his wife attempting to drown their daughters in a bathtub, police said.
"The father stopped the mother from drowning the kids, but they are in very critical condition," LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.
Firefighters attempted to resuscitate the girls, ages 1 and 5, but they were unconscious and not breathing when they were taken to California Hospital Medical Center, authorities said.
A neighbor who witnessed "the little one" being taken out of the home told KTLA-TV that the 1-year-old "wasn't breathing. She was in really bad shape. She was very pale. She looked very purple."
The neighbor said the mother appeared to be severely depressed and possibly suicidal. The mother told another person that if anything happened to her, the girls would be taken care of by their father, she said.
"She was asking for psychological help and she didn't receive it. It's a sad story. It's a sad ending. She needs help," the neighbor said.
The neighbor, who was interviewed by KTLA-TV, said the family emigrated from Guatemala 10 years ago. The neighbor said the family was nice and hard-working, and the girls often played in the yard.
The mother, who has not been identified, has been taken into custody, police said. She could be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon -- or murder if the girls die, Smith said.
In an interview with The Times, Deputy Chief Pat Gannon said it seems as if the mother "snapped."
-- Richard Winton and Rong-Gong Lin II
Photo: Judy McCann, left, Pastor Joyce Williams and Temika McCain pray on West 50th Street in Vermont Square. A mother in the neighborhood is suspected of trying to drown her two young daughters in a bathtub Wednesday morning. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times