UPDATE, MAY 8, 4:10 P.M.: A statement on the continued arraignment of Orange 31-year-old Shazer Fernando Limas, who could get the death penalty for allegedly killing his girlfriend and their two young boys, gives new ages for the children.
Said originally by Orange Police to have been 2 and 4 years old, and then ages 4 months and 2 years old, Emmanuel and Fernando Limas were actually 3 months old and 1 year old respectively, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
The bodies of the boys are still missing, while their mother Arlet Hernandez Contreras's corpse was found in Los Angeles County. Local landfills are being searched with cadaver dogs.
Shazer Limas entered no plea at his Monday arraignment, which has been continued to May 23 in Santa Ana.
UPDATE, MAY 7, 1:10 P.M.: The special circumstances charges for the stabbing-murder of Arlet Hernandez Contreras and presumed killings of their two young sons make 31-year-old Shazer Fernando Limas of Orange eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors announced today.
who is being held without bail pending arraignment in Santa Ana this
afternoon, is accused of three counts of special circumstances murder
with sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and the personal use
of a deadly weapon.
Unless Orange County District
Attorney Tony Rackauckas decides to forgo routine and decide seeking the death penalty is warranted because the crime is so heinous, he will convene a special circumstances committee consisting of himself and senior staff from his Homicide Unit to determine if Limas should face the ultimate punishment. Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit has been assigned the case.
Meanwhile, an arraignment statement from the DA's office this morning reveals the name of the young victims, their correct ages and that Limas underwent surgery for a cut to his hand the day after he allegedly stabbed Contreras and the boys to death. This timeline is presented:
Circumstances of the Case
On April 14, 2012, Limas is accused of stabbing and murdering his
girlfriend 31-year-old Arlet Contreras and her sons, 2-year-old Fernando
L. and 4-month-old Emmanuel L. at an Orange apartment they occupied in
the 3000 block of West Chapman Avenue.
On April 15, 2012, Limas is accused of going to Long Beach Memorial Hospital for surgery on a cut to his hand.
On April 24, 2012, Limas is accused of buying a sundry of supplies at a
Home Depot. He is accused of moving out of the apartment.
On April 25, 2012, Limas is accused of disposing of victim Contreras'
body, which was found in the City of La Puente by County workers with
multiple stab wounds that same day. Her body was found on the street in
On April 28, 2012, Limas is accused of turning in his keys and a letter of notice to vacate to the apartment management.
On May 3, 2012, Orange Police Department (OPD) was contacted by
apartment management about blood found in Limas' vacant apartment. Later
that day, at approximately 6:30 p.m., OPD located Limas driving a
Nissan 350Z in Santa Ana. Limas is accused of leading police on a
high-speed pursuit going south of the Interstate 405 to Interstate 5.
The California Highway Patrol took over the pursuit approximately 15
minutes into the pursuit. Limas was detained when his vehicle was
disabled by a spike strip and he was arrested at 7:30 pm.
On May 4, 2012, OPD contacted various County Coroners' Offices and found
Contreras' body at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.
There are published reports indicating the father had been ordered to pay child support before the murders. Meanwhile, searchers resumed today looking for the bodies of the two children in area landfills.
The investigation continues, and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Supervising
District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at 714.347.8492 or Orange Police investigators at 714.744.7456, 714.744.7579 or 714.744.7513.
UPDATE, MAY 7, 10:53 A.M.: The body of a woman found April 25 in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County has been identified as 31-year-old Arlet Hernandez Contreras, the girlfriend of murder suspect Shazer Fernando Limas and father of her two boys, ages 2 and 4 months, who are still missing.
Orange homicide detectives were led to the Los Angeles County morgue after putting out a call to agencies with descriptions of the missing mother and children.
Los Angeles County Public Works employees were in East Valinda, an
unincorporated part of the San Gabriel Valley, when they
spotted a tarp in an area known for illegal dumping of trash and other
items. A foul odor was coming from the tarp, so authorities were
Sheriff's deputies arrived and found the body of a woman who appeared to have been stabbed.
Limas, 31, moved out of his apartment at 3063 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, three days later, on April 28. A cleaning crew last week discovered bloodstains in the unit, and the apartment manager called Orange Police.
After Limas was spotted driving in Santa Ana Thursday afternoon, he led authorities on a high-speed chase south on the 5 freeway before a spike strip stopped him near the San Clemente border checkpoint. Limas sat in his car for about a half hour before surrendering.
He reportedly confessed to killing his girlfriend and children, but he is claimed not to have revealed what he did with their bodies. A search of a Brea landfill that receives rubbish from the Orange apartment turned up nothing Friday.
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 4, 9:33 A.M.: Bloodstains found inside a vacant Orange apartment led to a high-speed chase on the 5
freeway Thursday afternoon, the capture of a man who recently lived in
the residence and his arrest for allegedly murdering his girlfriend and
their two young boys whose bodies are the subject of an intense search
at this hour.
The victims have been identified as Arlet Hernandez Contreras, 31, and the couple's 2-year-old and 4-month-old sons.
A "suspicious circumstances” call to Orange Police came from the apartment manager at 3063 W. Chapman Ave., Orange. It was discovered that Shazer Fernando Limas, 31, moved out of the apartment on April 28. He was the subject of a manhunt due to the blood found in the unit.
His Nissan 350Z was spotted near Main Street and Macarthur Boulevard in Santa Ana Thursday afternoon, but when cops tried to pull the car over it sped off. That led to a high-speed chase on the southbound 405 and the southbound 5 before the Nissan came to a stop near the San Clemente border checkpoint just after 7:30 p.m.
The driver, who sat in the car for about a half hour before being detained, was identified as Limas. He was initially held at Orange's city jail, where he is said to have confessed to killing his girlfriend and children. He was transferred this morning to Orange County Jail in Santa Ana, where $1 million bail is being sought for triple homicide charges.
Police say Limas did not reveal what became of the bodies. Authorities were searching the dump in Brea this morning because that is where rubbish from bins at the Orange apartment is taken. No bodies were found as this post went live.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before "graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.