Couple Believed End Of World Near
Associated Press, Mar. 25, 2003
LOS ANGELES — A Corona couple who believed the world was coming to an end are in custody after they allegedly made family funeral plans and told police they had drugged their two younger children. Authorities said the parents, who were not immediately identified, will undergo psychiatric evaluation. Corona police plan to file a recommendation with the district attorney’s office for child endangerment charges. Police said the couple went to a mortuary on Saturday and told the general manager they were interested in funeral services and cemetery plots for themselves and their three children. The couple later paid $14,000 for five plots at a cemetery.
Police went to the family’s home and found a 12-year-old boy who said he did not know anything about being put to sleep. When the parents came home, they told police they had given their two youngest children, ages 6 and 10, drugs so that they could die, and that they were left in a Costa Mesa hotel room. Costa Mesa police found the children at the hotel, but they were not drugged. Corona Sergeant Jerry Rodriguez said the couple made several bizarre statements, including that “the world was going to end because Iraq was taking over” and that “their oldest son had already died and had come back to life.” The children have been placed in protective custody.