Baby found dead on Los Angeles highway linked to family's murder-suicide, police say


(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) -- The death of a baby found Monday on a highway has been linked to a possible murder-suicide in Los Angeles, police told ABC News.

Early Monday morning, the body of a 6-month-old girl was found on the 405 Freeway. A 9-year-old girl was found on the shoulder, alive but injured, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Shortly after, a woman -- who police identified as the two children's mother -- crashed her car into a tree in Redondo Beach. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

A few hours later, the father's body was found stabbed to death in an apartment in Woodland Hills.

Police said they believe it was a domestic violence incident, and are investigating it as a murder-suicide. The mother is suspected of killing the father during an argument, leaving the two children on the highway and then crashing into a tree.

It is not yet clear whether the children were thrown out of the car or dropped off there, nor if the baby was already dead or died later on the highway, according to police.

On Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol identified the mother as Danielle Cherakiyah Johnson.

The 9-year-old girl, who is believed to be a witness to the murder, was hospitalized for her injuries and is now in safe custody, police said.

Neighbors told Los Angeles ABC station KABC they heard an argument coming from the apartment the night before, and saw blood in the area the next morning.

"Their door was wide open, there was blood on the floor leading into their apartment, and then a trail of it in the hallway leading up to the elevator and I saw some blood on the wall," a 26-year-old woman told KABC.

The woman's father called 911, she said, who told them to check inside the apartment, where they found the man dead.

"He was deceased, he was facedown on the floor," she said. "And there was a lot of blood."

ABC News' Alex Stone contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 12:51PM by Julia Reinstein, ABC News Permalink