THE mother suspected of stabbing her three young children to death in Los Angeles had been "unwell" for several months and was embroiled in a bitter custody dispute, reports say.

Liliana Carrillo, 30, was arrested on Saturday afternoon in Tulare County – around four hours north of where her three children, Joanna, Terry and Sierra, were found dead in Reseda, California.

Hours earlier, the children's grandmother had called police after she discovered the three kids – ages three, two, and six months – dead inside an apartment complex, with Carillio nowhere to be seen.

The 30-year-old mother was supposed to hand over the kids to their father – and her ex-boyfriend – Erik Denton on Sunday, he told the Los Angeles Times.

Denton told the outlet he had sought custody of the children on March 1, whom he said had been acting mentally unstable.

"Liliana was very sick, and this is not – she was not herself, and it’s been going on for several months that she has been unwell," Denton's Cousin, Teri Miller, concurred to KTTV.

Read our Liliana Carrillo live blog below for the latest on the murders…

  • Sarah Grealish

    MOTHER WAS 'VERY SICK'

    Carrillo was reportedly embroiled in a bitter custody spat with her "devastated" ex-boyfriend Erik Denton, who had sought custody of his beloved kids on March 1 after claiming their mother had been acting mentally unstable.

    "Liliana was very sick, and this is not – she was not herself, and it’s been going on for several months that she has been unwell," Denton's Cousin, Teri Miller, told KTTV.

    She explained Denton had repeatedly reached out to the Department of Children and Family Services, as well as police, in desperation because he knew Carrillo "needed help".

    The father also requested a temporary emergency visitation order on March 4 and called for Carrillo to undergo a mental evaluation.

    The mother hit back by filing for a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Denton on March 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court, records show.

  • Sarah Grealish

    HORFFIC SCENE

    The scene where a mom allegedly slaughtered her three young children was so horrific first responders are now receiving emergency counseling.

    Cops were called to an apartment complex in Reseda, California to find Liliana Carrillo's children dead – hours before they were due to be picked up by their father, Carillo's ex-partner, Erik Denton on Saturday.

    The tragic tots – two boys and a girl, aged 3, 2, and 6 months – were found stabbed to death by their grandmother at around 9:30 am before she called 911 to the gruesome scene, which has traumatized officers.

    "These are the moments we carry throughout our career. It's hard to process that as a police officer," Lieutenant Raul Joel told the LA Times.

    A huge manhunt was launched to locate Carrrillo, 30, after she allegedly fled from the bloodbath and carjacked a Toyota pickup truck before she was captured around an hour later.

  • Sarah Grealish

    'INNOCENT LIVES LOST'

    At the crime scene in Reseda on Saturday, LAPD Lt. Raul Joel said there had been no prior calls to police at the Carrillo residence.

    “These are the moments we carry throughout our career,” Joel said, noting that innocent lives had been lost. “It’s hard to process that as a police officer.”

    "Liliana was very sick, and this is not – she was not herself, and it’s been going on for several months that she has been unwell," Denton's Cousin, Teri Miller, concurred to KTTV.

    It has also since emerged Carrillo ran what she called a "Blog for Good" on Instagram using which she would write and share inspirational messages and confessions about herself, reports DailyMail.com.

  • Sarah Grealish

    'SOMEBODY SNAPPED'

    Elizabeth Cuevas, who lives in an apartment above the one where the murders took place, told the LA Times she knew the grandmother of the children as a casual acquaintance.

    She said she also met one of the children, whom she called "A perfect little girl."

    "She was precious beyond what you could imagine. They were beautiful. Any angel shouldn't have gone that way."

    Cuevas added she never heard yelling coming from the apartment, and said police hadn't ever been at the home prior to Saturday.

    "Somebody snapped there, and they snapped in the wrong direction," she told the Times. "I’m going to be processing this for quite some time."

  • Sarah Grealish

    DEVESTATED DAD

    DEVASTATED Dad Erik Denton claims that he desperately tried to get emergency custody of his kids before they were stabbed to death by their mom.

    Liliana Carrillo, 30, who went on the run from police was eventually caught and arrested for the murder of her three children.

    Cops closed in on Carrillo in Tulare County after she allegedly carjacked a pickup truck in Bakersfield.

    Erik Denton, whose three children aged two, three and six months were found dead in their apartment complex in San Fernando Valley.

    He had sought custody of Joanna, Terry and Sierra on March 1, according to Tulare County family court documents online.

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