A three-year-old girl has been hailed as "an absolute hero" after keeping her two-month-old baby brother alive for several days following their parents' murder-suicide. The two young children, who remained in the family home after their father shot and killed their mother before taking his own life, were rescued earlier this month by their grandfather.
Police estimate that the shooting took place at around 6 am in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles Daily News. The children’s grandfather, who knew that his 46-year-old son, David Parsa, struggled with depression and stress, became concerned after unsuccessfully trying to contact the family several times.
Although the police conducted a welfare check at 7 am four days after the murder, a supervisor, who was unaware the children were in the home, decided not to have the officers enter the residence. They then contacted the grandfather, telling him that nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. Although neighbors told the officers that they had heard fighting and two loud pops days earlier, they chose to abandon the scene.
By the afternoon, the grandfather decided to take matters into his own hands. He arranged for a real estate agent with access to the property to let him enter the home. After discovering the scene, he contacted emergency services.
The children were found dehydrated and hungry though fully-clothed. The young girl appeared to be dressed for school and the boy was in his crib. They were immediately taken to a local hospital where they were treated. Despite their condition, they appeared to be unharmed. Officials do not believe that they witnessed the shooting of their mother, Mihoko Koike Parsa, 38.
Neighbors who were at the scene say that the girl remembered hearing a loud noise and her mother crying. The children are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. "Our little angel was able to keep herself and her brother alive," said Los Angeles Police Captain Maureen Ryan. "The baby is a miracle baby, and the little girl is a hero. She's an absolute hero."
The girl’s preschool teachers describe her as a bright child who loves to sing and dance. Local residents have raised $2,000 in donations for the children, along with baby supplies. Police have reportedly been in touch with the mother's family in Japan.