Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr, a 34-year-old personal trainer, is accused of killing his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter in Lancaster, about 70 miles north of Los Angeles, last week.
Taylor was on Monday charged with two counts of murder and child abuse, authorities said.
LA County Fire Department said it received a report of a gas leak at an address in the 45000 block of Century Circle at around 7.30 on 4 December.
On arrival, fire crews found two people dead at the scene and alerted the LA County Sheriff's Department.
The two bodies were found in separate bedrooms with “lacerations and stab wounds,” the department said. It was unclear how long the two victims had been dead.
Lancaster mayor R. Rex Parris told the LA Times the teenagers had been decapitated. “It was pretty brutal,” he told the outlet.
The LA County coroner’s office identified the children as 12-year-old Maurice Taylor Jr and 13-year-old Malaka Taylor.
The mother of the victims and two other children were questioned by detectives. Authorities said the child abuse charges relate to the second two children.
Taylor Sr worked at a physiotherapy centre in Sanya Monica but had been conducting sessions via Zoom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
He is being held on a $4.2 million bail and faces up to 57 years to life in prison if found guilty.
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