A man was charged Tuesday with murdering his 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter -- who were decapitated -- in Lancaster last week.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., a 34-year-old personal trainer, was ordered to be held in lieu of $4.2 million bail while awaiting arraignment Dec. 21 in a Lancaster courtroom on two felony counts each of murder and child abuse under circumstances likely to cause great bodily injury or death.
He could face up to 57 years and four months to life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
The deaths of the children were reported at 7:50 a.m. Friday in a home in the 45000 block of Century Circle in Lancaster, Ortiz said.
Paramedics went to the location on a report of a possible natural gas leak, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
However, sheriff's Lt. Brandon Dean told reporters at the scene that the pair may have been stabbed to death, and apparently did not die as a result of a natural gas leak.
"Detectives have learned that the deceased male and female both appeared to be suffering from lacerations and stab wounds," Ortiz said.
The victims' names will be released pending notification of next of kin, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
A man, a woman and two children were questioned by homicide detectives, the sheriff's department said.
Anyone with more information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.