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Mother Held in Slaying of Girl, 3

The Region

Violence: Another daughter, 5, is in serious condition after being stabbed, authorities say.

September 24, 2002|SCOTT GOLD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 24-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of killing her 3-year-old daughter Monday and stabbing her 5-year-old daughter.

Keri Cervantes was taken into custody at her home in Sky Valley, an unincorporated community southeast of Desert Hot Springs.

Detectives were interviewing Cervantes late Monday but had not determined a motive for the attack nor the circumstances, said Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy John Kaiser.

The initial call was listed by a dispatcher as "shots fired," authorities said.

But at the home in the 23000 block of Rudder Row, deputies found the 5-year-old stabbed several times. She was flown by helicopter to Riverside County Regional Medical Center, where she was in serious but stable condition.

Deputies also found the body of the 3-year-old, Kaiser said. Investigators declined to say how she had died.

Cervantes was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. No one else was home, authorities said, and Cervantes' marital status was unclear.

"We don't have a motive or anything," Kaiser said. "This investigation is going to be continuing for awhile."

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