A man has been charged with murder and child abuse after he decapitated two of his oldest children and forced their siblings to watch the gruesome act.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr, 34, reportedly murdered and decapitated his oldest son and daughter in their home in Lancaster, California. After he killed his eldest children, he forced his younger sons—ages 8 and 9—to look after the corpses for days.
Authorities said Taylor killed 13-year-old Maliaka and 12-year-old Maurice Jr. on Nov. 29 by stabbing them. He then kept their bodies in separate rooms and forced the victims’ siblings to watch over them while refusing to give them food, BuzzFeed News reported.
The bodies were discovered after firefighters were told of a possible gas leak, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Officials found both victims with lacerations and stab wounds.
Taylor’s clients contacted authorities after he failed to show up to Zoom classes. He worked as a personal trainer.
The children’s mother was also found in the house, but she has been ruled out as a suspect. She is cooperating with investigators.
On Tuesday, Taylor was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of child abuse. His arraignment is scheduled on Dec. 21. He will remain in jail with a $4.2-million bond. If he is found guilty, he may face a maximum sentence of 57 years to life in prison.