A California personal trainer dad, 34, has been arrested for allegedly decapitating his daughter, 13, and son, 12, after cops made the grim discovery at his home where his wife and two other children were found alive and well.
Maurice Taylor Sr. was arrested Friday on suspicion of the murder of his two teenage children whose bodies were found inside the family home on the 45000 block of Century Circle, Lancaster, earlier that morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Police were responding to his clients’ concerns about a possible gas leak at the home.
An adult female – thought to be the victims’ mother – and two other children were also present in the home at the time. They appeared to be unharmed and were being questioned by officers.
It is not clear when the victims died but Taylor’s personal training clients, who described him as ‘mellow’ and ‘reliable’, told the
One client told the Times he then reported a possible gas leak at the home Friday morning leading the fire department to enter the home and find the bodies of Taylor’s children.
Pictured the crime scene. The two bodies were found inside the family home on the 45000 block of Century Circle, Lancaster, Friday morning, according to LASD
A California personal trainer dad, 34, has been arrested for allegedly decapitating his daughter, 13, and son, 12, after cops made the grim discovery when the man’s clients grew concerned and reported a possible gas leak at his home (above)
A sign reading ‘Believe’ outside the family home where the two bodies of the teenagers were discovered Friday
The Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to the single-story home in the 45000 block of Century Circle at around 7:50 a.m. Friday to reports of a possible gas leak.
Fire crews entered the home and found the bodies of the two children in separate bedrooms with lacerations and stab wounds.
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said both victims had been decapitated and described the scene as ‘brutal’.
The children have not been named by police but are described as a 12-year-old male and a 13-year-old female.
An adult female – thought to be the victims’ mother – and two other children were also present in the home at the time. They appeared to be unharmed and were being questioned by officers
‘LA County Sheriff’s deputies responded out to the location and saw that there were two individuals inside, both very young, possibly in their teenage years, deceased,’ Lt. Dean told reporters at the scene Friday morning.
‘One appears to be a male, one appears to be a female, possibly suffering from some type of a sharp trauma, either stabbing or slicing device.’
Dean said there was no sign of a gas leak at the property.
‘It doesn’t seem to be that the cause of death from the two people inside have anything to do with a gas leak,’ he said.
Deputies questioned the four other people inside the home at the time, including Taylor, an adult female and two children.
LA County Sheriff’s Department told DailyMail.com Saturday morning the relationship of the three other individuals inside the home to the two victims is not yet known.
However the LA Times reported that the children’s mom was present at the home and had been questioned but not arrested by officers.
Police said one of the adults was transported to a local hospital ‘for difficulty breathing’.
It is not clear whether this was Taylor or the children’s mom.
The two children, whose ages and identities have not been released, were taken to hospital as a precaution but appeared to be uninjured.
Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station where he is being held on $2 million bond.
The investigation is ongoing.
Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station (above) where he is being held on $2 million bond
Maurice Taylor Sr. was arrested Friday on suspicion of the murder of his two teenage children. The family home pictured Saturday
LASD said it is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to place the two surviving children.
It is not clear whether the DCFS had any prior contact with the family before Friday’s events.
Howard Kern, an attorney and writer who has taken personal training sessions with Taylor for about seven years, told the LA Times he called the fire department at 7:34 a.m. Friday morning as he and some of Taylor’s other clients grew increasingly concerned about the family’s welfare.
‘I said, ‘I’m concerned’. We are concerned about a possible gas leak. There are four children and two adults – and we are concerned about their safety,’ he told the outlet.
Another client told the Times she had contacted the Sheriff’s Department Tuesday when Taylor failed to show for a session over Zoom.
She said she knew something was wrong when he didn’t send a Zoom link for a session and then didn’t show up at the allotted time.
The client, who spoke anonymously, said she and other clients tried and failed to contact him and started contacting each other voicing concerns that something had happened.
‘I knew they weren’t out of town. They didn’t have money to travel,’ she said.
‘We were afraid of carbon monoxide poisoning, or they were all dead from falling asleep.’
It is not clear when the victims died but Taylor’s personal training clients, who described him as ‘mellow’ and ‘reliable’, told the LA Times they grew concerned earlier in the week and contacted authorities as far back as Tuesday. Pictured the crime scene
Clients grew concerned when he failed to show up for fitness sessions he had been running over Zoom. One client told the Times he then reported a possible gas leak at the home Friday morning leading the fire department to enter the home and find the bodies of Taylor’s children
She described Taylor as ‘so reliable, so responsive’ and ‘mellow’.
It is not clear whether or not deputies responded to the home Tuesday when she contacted LASD.
The property management company responsible for the home was also contacted by Taylor’s concerned clients, the Times reported.
Taylor was a personal trainer at a Santa Monica physical therapy and fitness center but was now holding sessions over Zoom due to the pandemic.
Kern told the Times he worried that Taylor ‘was living under a tremendous amount of pressure’ having lived and worked on his own since he was 18 and being in a marriage Kern described as ‘contentious’.
The client said he would often hear Kern on the phone to his wife at the gym and hear ‘her yelling at him’.
‘He’d be very apologetic and she’d be yelling at him,’ said Kern.
He described him as the ‘nicest person that you know, then multiply that by five’.
‘He worked so hard to support himself. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough to say what happened or what didn’t happen.’
Mayor Parris said he believes the fallout from the pandemic had created a stressful environment.
‘What I’m seeing is more and more people feeling desperate, and that can only have one result,’ he said, according to the Times.
A property owner in the area told the Times he thought only two children lived in the home.
He said the home environment ‘looked strange’ with the family keeping themselves to themselves and the windows were often ‘blacked out’ in a neighborhood where most others would stop and chat outside.