A man has been charged with killing five of his own children – none of them more than six months old.
Paul Perez, who is already behind bars in California, is accused of killing the infants between 1992 and 2001.
The remains of one of the siblings, three-month-old Nikko Lee Perez, were discovered by a fisherman in March 2007, submerged in an irrigation canal northwest of Sacramento.
Yolo County Sheriff’s Office said the baby was “found in a sealed container and weighed down with heavy objects”.
No information was discovered to further an investigation at the time – but in October, the infant was identified by DNA comparison.
Officials said: “It is now known that the baby boy was born on November 8 1996, in Fresno, California.”
Once they had the DNA information, investigators discovered that Nikko had siblings.
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Police said one of them – Kato Allen Perez – was born in 1992 and is “known to be deceased”, while three other siblings are believed to have died.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing, but declined to say if Perez had other children or if the victims were born to more than one mother.
District Attorney Jeff Reisig said the investigation had “uncovered a deeply disturbing, chilling case of infanticide”.
He added: “Today we are announcing charges against Paul Perez for the serial murder of five of his own children, all babies.”
Ed Medrano, from the California Department of Justice, said the “allegations we are discussing today are senseless, evil and heartbreaking”.
Perez was arrested at a state prison days before he was expected to be released on unrelated charges, officials said.