Father accused of killing his 3 children detained in California

Three children killed in front of their mother by her 33-year-old husband in horror attack

A 33-year-old man was arrested on Thursday for murdering his wife's three children. On the way to their home, police received a second call notifying the officers that the couples' three children were likely dead.

Police are actively searching for a male suspect.

The children's mother was reportedly in the home when the killings occurred; police report she "was in close proximity" when her husband allegedly murdered them, although it's still unclear exactly how they were killed.

Police activity will be ongoing in the area through the night and into the morning hours.

"It wasn't easy", said Southport Elementary Teacher Christel Cruz as her eyes welled up.

KCRA 3 quoted West Sacramento police Sgt. Roger Kinney, who said the officers were affected by the horrific crime. "The officers are absolutely impacted, along with the firefighters, and certainly the family, the neighbors. 'This [investigation] is going to take not hours, not days, it's going to take a long time a long time to come to grips with what happened there".

Hodges' wife, Mai Sheng Hodges - who fled the apartment in distress - had filled her Facebook page with now heartbreaking photos of the family and the children, including Mother's Day notes from her daughter and pictures of the oldest children in Halloween costumes.

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He continued: "It's horrific and it's very hard to deal with".

Someone - it's not clear whether it was the mother - managed to dial 911 from inside the apartment, but, by the time police arrived, it was too late for the children.

Theresa Bustamante who lives nearby, told the Californian television station that she wasn't aware anything was wrong either. [Their apartment is] so quiet.

"And then I wrote a note to them to say 'good luck.' I wish them good luck in heaven", she said.

The names of the mother and the children have not been released to the public. I was in my apartment the whole time. Grief counselors will be made available to students in the school district, according to reports.

Hodges did not have a significant criminal history and a neighbor said he seemed like a good father before the slayings, according to the newspaper. "It just happened. It's so sad".

A vigil for the children is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Southport Elementary School at 2747 Linden Road in West Sacramento.

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