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Father Arrested in Connection With Lancaster Child Deaths, Injuries

Father Arrested in Connection With Lancaster Child Deaths, Injuries

A man in handcuffs in a file photo. (Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

10/30/2023

Updated: 10/30/2023

LANCASTER, Calif.—A father who was detained after deputies sent to a residence in Lancaster discovered four of his children injured—two of them fatally—has been formally arrested on suspicion of murder and child abuse, sheriff’s officials said Oct. 30.
Deputies were dispatched at about 11:50 p.m. Saturday to a home in the 1800 block of East Avenue J-2 on a child abuse call, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.
“The call stated children were being harmed at the location,” according to a sheriff’s department statement Sunday. “Upon arrival, deputies contacted a female adult and conducted a check of the location. Deputies found four children under the age of 10 suffering from lacerations to their bodies at the location.
“The children were transported to a local hospital, where two of the children were pronounced deceased. The other two children are in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries,” the sheriff’s statement said.
The names of the fatally injured children have not been released. The suspect was identified as Prospero Serna of San Bernardino County.
“Prospero Serna, the father of the children, was initially detained as a person of interest in the case,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement Monday.
“Homicide detectives determined there was sufficient evidence to arrest Prospero Serna for the crimes of murder and child abuse,” the sheriff’s statement said. “However, Prospero Serna is refusing to cooperate with sheriff’s deputies ... delaying his booking process.”
Anyone with information regarding the case was asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, or use the website.
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