WOODLAND, Calif. - In connection to a 2007 cold case of infant death, a father has been arrested. He is also suspected of killing four other infants, all under the age of six months, the Yolo County Sheriff's Office said.
Officials say in March of 2007, the body of an infant was found by a fisherman in a waterway east of Woodland.
The body was found in a sealed container that had been weighed down by heavy objects of some kind, according to officials.
In October of 2019, officials say the body was identified as Nikko Lee Perez, who was born on Nov. 8 in 1996.
With this new information, officials say they learned there were other children. One, Kato Allen Perez, born in 1992, is also known to be dead.
“While I am proud of the efforts of my investigators and coroner’s office, this is not a day that will bring joy to any one of us. In my 40 years in law enforcement, I cannot think of a case more disturbing than this one. There can be no victim more vulnerable and innocent than an infant, and unfortunately this case involves five," said Sheriff Tom Lopez.
Three others are also believed to be dead: Mika Alena born in 1995, Nikko Lee born in 1997 and Kato Krow born in 2001. Officials say the remains of these three have not been located.
57-year-old Paul Perez, the father of all five children, has been arrested for the individual murders of each infant.
Investigators with the Yolo County Sheriff's Office and Yolo District Attorney's Office say they have been working with multiple other law enforcement agencies with an active investigation.
“The allegations announced today are heartbreaking,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. "There is absolutely no place in our society for horrendous crimes against children."
Becerra said the California DOJ will work to "track down criminals who they they have evaded the grip of justice."
The sheriff's office said they are not able to discuss any matter related to additional family of the suspect or the victims.
Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call the sheriff's office at 668-5280 or 666-8282, or with anonymous tips at 668-5248.