A Coachella man has been arrested for double murder in the deaths of his children’s mother and grandmother.
On Monday, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said that 39-year-old Salvador Velasquez was arrested Saturday at his Coachella home on suspicion of killing his children’s mother, 36-year-old Esmeralda Casillas, and her 68-year-old Having killed mother -old Ofelia Casillas. Prison records show that Velasquez was arrested on Calle Geranio, a residential street on the east side of Coachella near Interstate 10.
The sheriff’s department said the women were killed shortly after a custody transfer in “a domestic violence case.”
The women were found in a vehicle on the western side of the Moreno Valley and later died at a local hospital. Both were residents of El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego.
On Tuesday, the department said Velasquez had given birth to two seven-year-old twins by Casillas before shooting her and her mother dead at around 7:45 p.m. Friday. They said the twins were safely found at Velasquez’s on Saturday.
The release did not specify who had taken custody of the boys. A person who identified themselves as relatives of Esmeralda and Ofelia Casillas told The Desert Sun that the children were placed in the care of Velasquez’s parents.
“We, the family of Esmeralda and Ofelia, seek the support of the community to rescue the children and bring them to our loving home, away from a potentially cold-hearted and malicious killer who could harm them,” said family member Adrian Olascoaga .
Olascoaga has not said how he was related to the couple, but other news outlets have reported that he is a grandson of Ofelia Casillas and a nephew of Esmeralda Casillas. He said the family is united and is hoping for community support to take custody of the children.
The custody swap happened regularly in Moreno Valley as part of their custody agreement after a years-long custody battle, he said.
Velasquez is in prison in Indio and was not released on bail, according to prison records. He is scheduled to appear in court at the Riverside Hall of Justice at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Sheriff: Coachella man shot dead mother of twins after swapping custody