Lancaster stunned by murder of family
Shirley Hawkins | 9/17/2008, 5 p.m.
Lancaster residents were stunned last week with the news that four members of a Lancaster family had been killed alledgedly by 18-year-old Altadena resident Corey King.
According to police, King is believed to have been at the victims' house Monday night and set fire to the home after killing the family.
King allegedly called authorities about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after hearing his name on a television news broadcast that said he was wanted for questioning. After meeting with investigators, King, who was out of jail on probation at the time of the killings, was placed under arrest.
He appeared in court Friday.
King is accused of killing 42-year-old Sonya Durfield and her three daughters, 14-year-old Ebony Horton, 12-year-old Melinda Harris and 9-year-old Kayla Clark. Police said that the victims, who were found in different parts of the house, suffered trauma before they were killed.
Firefighters found the victims after they put out a fire at their home in the 1500 block of East Avenue J-3. A coroner's report said that the victims were beaten, stabbed and strangled to death.
It was unclear if the fire, which appeared to have started in an attached garage, was set before or after the victims were killed, according to Lt. Patrick Nelson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Gregory Stewart was standing outside of the home in the Fair Sky Estates subdivision surrounded by news reporters when he received a phone call informing him that his wife and three daughters had been killed.
"Oh Lord, it's my wife," Stewart told news sources. "Don't tell me that, please don't tell me that, are you sure?"
Stewart said that sheriff's deputies had found his wife's car in the parking lot at Wal Mart. "It just doesn't add up," a distraught Stewart said.
King is also being investigated for the death of Evelyn Mosley, 90, who was found in her burning home in Altadena in May.
The victim's older daughters, Emisha and Cassandra Clark, told KTLA news that King is a close friend of their brother, but added that they did not know him very well.