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Father killed children, put remains in trash, police say

Shazer Limas faces three murder charges with special enhancements
When police arrived at a bloodied Orange apartment last Thursday, they say it was clear something was wrong.

The couple who lived on West Chapman Avenue with their two sons had moved out days ago. No one had been reported missing, and the move-out went without a hitch. Yet there was enough blood in the apartment that police quickly began a search for the four members of the family, including the father, Shazer Fernando Limas.

On Monday, prosecutors filed three murder charges with special enhancements against Limas, who they claim slashed his family to death. They allege that the 31-year-old man disposed of his girlfriend’s body 10 days after killing her, just hours before the corpse was discovered in gutter on a La Puente street. They also believe Limas may have disposed of their 2-year-old and 4-month-old children in an apartment dumpster. Searchers have been digging through a Brea landfill for days looking for their remains but have found nothing.

Prosecutors say the slayings occurred in mid-April, weeks before police arrived at the apartment. In the intervening days, they say, Limas was treated at a hospital for a cut to the hand and purchased an array of supplies, including a tarp, from a Home Depot. Police believe that after he killed his family, he calmly gave the apartment keys back to the landlord, who first discovered the bloody scene May 3. That night, police arrested Limas after a high-speed chase.

But investigators are still piecing together details and are unsure exactly what the accused murderer did for 10 days before disposing of the bodies.

“This is like something you'd see on TV,” said Sgt. Dan Adams with the Orange Police Department.
Limas’ arraignment had been scheduled for Monday afternoon at Santa Ana Central Jail but was continued to the morning of May 23.

The collective charges against Limas could result in the death penalty, but Orange County district attorney's officials said the decision on whether to seek capital punishment will come later.

They said the search for the children’s bodies will continue at the landfill Tuesday.

“We're confident in the case even if we don't find the children,” Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Simmons said.

Court records in Orange County and Los Angeles show that Limas was married at least twice before he had children with the slain woman, Arlet Hernandez Contreras, 31. Limas was paying child support to multiple women; and at least one domestic violence restraining order had been granted to one of his former wives, the records show.

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-- Matt Stevens and Sam Quinones in Los Angeles and Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County

Photo: Shazer Limas.  Credit: Orange Police Department

 
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