Watch CBSN Live

Woman's body found in trunk of car of missing L.A.-area family

MONTEBELLO, Calif. -- Police have found the car that belonged to a Southern California couple and their four young sons, and the body of a woman was discovered in the trunk, authorities said.

The Honda Accord belonging to Daniel and Erica Perez and their sons, whose ages range from 6 to 11, was found near a hospital about a half-mile from their home in Montebello, police Capt. Luis Lopez said at a news conference Wednesday night.

Lopez would say only that a dead woman was in the trunk, but would not provide her identity or cause of death, deferring those and other details to the coroner's office. He said Daniel Perez is now considered a person of interest.

Lopez called the discovery "alarming."

"We are concerned for their safety," Lopez said.

Investigators told CBS Los Angeles they believed the body is that of Erica Perez.

The family had not been seen since Friday and neither adult had been answering their phone.

Lopez said an Amber Alert is now being issued for a 2014 black Toyota Camry with California license plate 7FDS891 also connected to the family.

Family members told investigators the couple's marriage was unstable and there was a history of domestic violence, police said.

One relative, Pamela Valdez, pleaded with Daniel Perez not to harm the children, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The four sons are Jordan, 11, Jaiden, 9, Tristan, 8, and Alex, 6.

Montebello is about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.