3 children taken after mom's killing are back in California

3 children taken after mom's killing are back in California

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three young children kidnapped from the Los Angeles area after their mother was killed have been returned to California from New Mexico as investigators shift their focus to filling in the gaps in the case.

The children, between 2 and 5, were flown back to the Los Angeles area Thursday, Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Steve Katz said.

They're in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, which will decide whether they can be placed with family members.

Meanwhile, Joshua Aaron Robertson, 27, and Brittney Humphrey, 22, were being held without bond in Pueblo, Colorado, where they were arrested without incident Thursday.

It was unclear whether they had attorneys.

Robertson and Humphrey are considered persons of interest in the death of Humphrey's half-sister, 26-year-old Kimberly Harvill, whose body was found with gunshot wounds along a road in a remote area of Los Angeles County on Aug. 14.

Katz said detectives were expected to fly to Colorado on Saturday to interview the couple about Harvill.

"We really do need to find a few more pieces to the puzzle to get a better idea of events and how they transpired," Katz said.

During the search, authorities said Humphrey and Robertson should be considered armed and dangerous. They were found as Pueblo police officers conducted an unrelated fugitive roundup at a motel.

A baby girl belonging to Robertson was found unharmed and was in state custody.

Katz said he didn't know whether the couple had a gun at the time and Pueblo police declined to answer questions about the case.

A day before the couple was arrested, Harvill's three children were found safe at a motel on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Police said Robertson and Humphrey had asked a man at the motel to watch the kids, and he called police when the couple didn't return.

The children's father, Kenneth Chad Watkins, killed himself by lying in front of a train last September, according to the Fresno County coroner.

Harvill and the children had most recently lived in Fresno and were transitory, moving from motel to motel, Katz said, adding that they depended on panhandling to survive.

In the days before her death, Harvill was staying with the children in Lebec, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County where authorities said Robertson and Humphrey were living and where Harvill was killed.

Harvill, Humphrey and Robertson were all involved with methamphetamines, detectives said.

Investigators said they knew of no ongoing conflict between the sisters.


Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP. Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/amanda-lee-myers.

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