YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) -- As many as five infants under 6 months old are believed to be dead all by the hands of their father, the Yolo County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.
Their father is now behind bars in Woodland.
“The allegations we are discussing today are both senseless, evil and heartbreaking,” said Ed Medrano with the California Department of Justice.
It was a case that began 13 years ago when an unidentified infant was found in a box in a waterway just east of Woodland.
Nikko Lee Perez was born in 1996 and was just 6 months old when he was killed. It turns out his body had been in the waterway for 10 years before it was discovered by a fisherman in a weighted box in 2007. All that was left were bones.
The infant was only identified last October thanks to a DNA match to his father, 57-year-old Paul Allen Perez, of Delano. The California Department of Justice’s forensics team used a technique to match DNA samples to possible relatives in its broad database, a technique previously only talked about for identifying unknown victims.
Perez was already in Kern Valley State Prison, a second home after several offenses, including sexual assault, automobile theft, evading police and making weapons in prison. Just before his arrest, he was due to be released from prison.
“We also tragically learned that four of (Nikko’s) siblings suffered his same fate,” said Yolo County Sheriff Tom Lopez on Monday.
One of Nikko’s siblings, Kato Allen Perez, who was born in Merced in 1992, is known to be dead. The other three are presumed dead. They were identified as Mika Alena, Kato Krow and Nikko Lee, who was born a year after the first Nikko Lee.
The siblings were all under 6 months old.
No motive was given Monday and investigators would not elaborate on how the infants were killed but hinted at unspeakable acts.
“We’ve also alleged that the murders were committed by means of lying in wait and through torture,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig. “We’ve also alleged multiple murders as a special circumstance.”
Although three bodies are missing, Perez will be charged with killing five of his own children.
The case resulted from the formation of a cold case task force following the arrest of suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo.
“Monsters and killers can no longer hide forever any longer,” DA Reisig said.
Perez may qualify for the death penalty if the DA’s office can make a case for it.
Officials also did not reveal the mother or mothers of the victims or their involvement.
Investigators say there may be more victims and certainly others who may know more about this case.
“This case is not over,” Lopez said. “Leads are still being developed and followed up on at this time.”
Perez is now in the Yolo County Jail awaiting arraignment scheduled for Tuesday.