The California personal trainer accused of beheading his two children at their family home last week has been seen for the first time in a video showing the moment he was taken into custody on a gurney.
Maurice Taylor Sr, 34, was arrested on Friday for allegedly murdering his daughter, 13, and son, 12, whose bodies were inside their Lancaster home earlier that morning, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities made the gruesome discovery while responding to reports of a possible gas leak at a property on the 45000 block of Century Circle, where children were found in separate bedrooms with lacerations and stab wounds.
An adult female – thought to be the victims’ mother – and two other children were also present in the home at the time. They appeared to be unharmed and were questioned by officers.
Exclusive video footage obtained by DailyMail.com on Tuesday shows the moment Taylor was wheeled away from the scene handcuffed to a stretcher.
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Exclusive video footage obtained by DailyMail.com on Tuesday shows the moment Maurice Taylor Sr was wheeled away from the scene handcuffed to a stretcher
Taylor, 34, is accused of murdering his daughter, 13, and son, 12, whose bodies were inside their Lancaster home last Friday morning
Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station where he is being held on $2million bond
Police at the time said one of the adults had been transported to a local hospital ‘for difficulty breathing’, although it is unclear if that was Taylor.
Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station where he is being held on $2million bond. He is due to appear in court on Tuesday.
It is unknown what motivated the alleged attack and the incident remains under investigation, however, Taylor’s personal training clients told the LA Times they had grown concerned over his well-being earlier in the week.
The fitness trainer, who was described as ‘mellow’ and ‘reliable’, had sparked concerns when he failed to show up for fitness sessions he had been running over Zoom.
Howard Kern, an attorney and writer who had taken personal training sessions with Taylor for about seven years, told the Times he reported the gas leak Friday morning, leading the fire department to find the bodies.
‘I said: “I’m concerned”. We are concerned about a possible gas leak. There are four children and two adults – and we’re concerned about their safety,’ Kern told the paper.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to the single-story home at around 7.50am.
One of Taylor’s clients told the LA Times he had called the police to report a gas leak at the home, leading the fire department to find the bodies
Neighbors of Maurice Taylor Sr., arrange memorial at his residence for the deceased children he is accused of killing on December 7
Pictured the crime scene. The two bodies were found inside the family home on the 45000 block of Century Circle, Lancaster, Friday morning, according to LASD
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said both victims had been decapitated and described the scene as ‘brutal’. It is unclear how long they had been dead.
‘LA County Sheriff’s deputies responded out to the location and saw that there were two individuals inside, both very young, possibly in their teenage years, deceased,’ Lt. Dean told reporters at the scene Friday morning.
‘One appears to be a male, one appears to be a female, possibly suffering from some type of a sharp trauma, either stabbing or slicing device.’
Dean said there was no sign of a gas leak at the property.
‘It doesn’t seem to be that the cause of death from the two people inside have anything to do with a gas leak,’ he said.
Another client told the Times she had also contacted the Sheriff’s Department days earlier on Tuesday when Taylor failed to show for a session over Zoom.
She said she knew something was wrong when he didn’t send a Zoom link for a session and then didn’t show up at the allotted time.
An adult female – thought to be the victims’ mother – and two other children were also present in the home at the time. They appeared to be unharmed and were being questioned by officers
Scene where Maurice Taylor Sr. is being escorted on a stretcher by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies
The client, who spoke anonymously, said she and other clients tried and failed to contact him and started contacting each other voicing concerns that something had happened.
‘I knew they weren’t out of town. They didn’t have money to travel,’ she said.
‘We were afraid of carbon monoxide poisoning, or they were all dead from falling asleep.’
She described Taylor as ‘so reliable, so responsive’ and ‘mellow’.
It is not clear whether or not deputies responded to the home Tuesday when she contacted LASD.
Deputies questioned the four other people inside the home at the time, including Taylor, an adult female and two children.
Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station (above) where he is being held on $2 million bond
LA County Sheriff’s Department told DailyMail.com Saturday morning the relationship of the three other individuals inside the home to the two victims is not yet known.
However the LA Times reported that the children’s mom was present at the home and had been questioned but not arrested by officers.
The two children, whose ages and identities have not been released, were taken to hospital as a precaution but appeared to be uninjured.
LASD said it is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services to place the two surviving children.
It is not clear whether the DCFS had any prior contact with the family before Friday’s events.
Taylor was a personal trainer at a Santa Monica physical therapy and fitness center but was now holding sessions over Zoom due to the pandemic.
Kern told the Times he worried that Taylor ‘was living under a tremendous amount of pressure’ having lived and worked on his own since he was 18 and being in a marriage Kern described as ‘contentious’.
The client said he would often hear Kern on the phone to his wife at the gym and hear ‘her yelling at him’.
‘He’d be very apologetic and she’d be yelling at him,’ said Kern.
He described him as the ‘nicest person that you know, then multiply that by five’.
‘He worked so hard to support himself. Unfortunately, we don’t know enough to say what happened or what didn’t happen.’
Mayor Parris said he believes the fallout from the pandemic had created a stressful environment.
‘What I’m seeing is more and more people feeling desperate, and that can only have one result,’ he said, according to the Times.
A property owner in the area told the Times he thought only two children lived in the home.
He said the home environment ‘looked strange’ with the family keeping themselves to themselves and the windows were often ‘blacked out’ in a neighborhood where most others would stop and chat outside.