A 1-year-old girl spent up to three days alone with the bloody bodies of her murdered family, her face kicked or beaten and lips cracked from dehydration, police said.
“She was left for dead,” Lt. Mike Handfield said Tuesday. “If she would have been here any longer, she could have perished from lack of food and water.”
Police found the bodies of Phuong Hung Le, 30, his wife, Trish Dawn Lam, 25, and Lam’s 6-year-old son, Tommy, on Monday when they conducted a welfare check at the family’s home, on a street lined with two-story stucco houses about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles in Orange County.
The girl, whose name was not immediately available, was treated at a hospital for dehydration and facial injuries and placed in protective custody.
The girl smiled at the officer who found her, Handfield said. “She clung to him and he hugged her. She was glad to be next to a warm human body, to have somebody with her.”
Because of the girl’s dehydrated state, detectives believe the killings may have occurred Friday evening — the last time the family was heard from.
Investigators did not know the motive for the attack, and no arrests had been made. Authorities did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack but ruled out a murder-suicide.
There were no signs of forced entry, and evidence at the scene suggested that the family knew the attacker or attackers, Handfield said.
The slain man had a history of arrests on nonviolent charges and had once spent time in prison. Handfield would not elaborate but said investigators do not believe the crimes were connected to the killings.