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  • Death date
  • Sept. 9, 2008

Melinda Harris, 12

Sonya Evette Durfield, 43, a black woman, and three of her daughters, Ebony, 14, Melinda, 12, and Kayla, 9, were found dead inside their home that was set on fire in the 1500 block of East Avenue J-3 in Lancaster about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department discovered the bodies of Durfield and her three daughters after the fire was put out, said Lt. Patrick Nelson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Nelson said investigators found visible trauma on the bodies. Sheriff's homicide detectives were also investigating a possible connection between the death of Durfield and her daughters and a theft at a nearby Wal-Mart. Nelson said Durfield's vehicle was found in the parking lot of the store.

Hours after the incident, Corey King, 18, a young black man, called investigators and asked to meet with them. He was taken into custody and was booked on suspicion of murder the next day. Lt. Liam Gallagher of the sheriff's homicide division said King was a friend of Durfield's son. Gallagher said King was also a person of interest in the killing of 90-year-old Evelyn Mosley, who was found dead in her home in Altadena in May.  Gallagher said King was friends with Mosley's grandson.

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