An East Los Angeles woman was stabbed to death in her home Tuesday afternoon and two of her children were kidnaped, but later found unharmed in Lynwood, authorities said.
Hours later, a woman suspected in the crimes was arrested in Bellflower, Sheriff's Deputy Hal Grant said. She directed Los Angeles County sheriff's officers to where she abandoned the victim's stolen van, in which 18-month-old Joshua Lopez and 4-year-old Orlando Lopez were found about 8:30 p.m., Grant said.
County Fire Department paramedics pronounced the victim, Carol Ann Lopez, 32, dead from multiple stab wounds at the home in the 700 block of South Vancouver Avenue, Grant said.
Deputies were sent to the home about 2:30 p.m., after the sheriff's East Los Angeles station received a 911 call from one of the victim's older children, who found his mother's body after arriving home from school, Grant said.
Deputies declined to discuss the information that led them to the suspect, 20-year-old Rose Duvall, who was arrested at a residence in the 16300 block of Cornuta Avenue in Bellflower, a few miles from where the van was abandoned.
Officers said the woman told them the children could be found in the 2500 block of Fernwood Street in Lynwood.
Residents of the area, about 10 miles from the victim's home, said the van had been there since about 2:30 p.m.
Deputy Rafael Estrada said he had no information on a possible relationship between the Lopez family and Duvall.
Lopez's husband, Lester, an RTD bus driver from whom she was recently separated, was at work at the time of the slaying. He said it took deputies several hours to locate his bus.
Standing outside the home Tuesday night, he said, "I have no idea," when asked if he knew who might have killed his wife and taken the children.
Lopez appeared calm until he began talking with a neighbor. "My kids have died," he said sobbing. Minutes later, he was told the children had been found unharmed.
The neighbor, Connie Bernal, said she had known the victim about eight years. "She was just the sweetest person you could ever know," Bernal said. "She just lived for her family and her home."