Paul Allen Perez was arrested in January 2020 for killing five of his infant children more than a decade ago. It has yet to be decided if the father will face the death penalty.
Perez, who is already serving time in the Kern Valley State Prison and is a convicted sex offender, was charged after police reopened a cold case from 2007, The New York Times reports. Investigators used DNA evidence to identify Perez’s role in the crime.
Father Charged With Murder After DNA Ties Him to 5 Infant Children Who Were Murdered
Perez’s arrested brings a conclusion to a case that has haunted police for years. Authorities were able to bring the case to a close after one of the infants was identified using new DNA technology. The baby was identified as Nikko Lee Perez.
The infant was found in a metal cooler near Sacramento, California in 2007. A fisherman found the cooler, who was one to three months old at the time of his death, in a waterway. Nikko was discovered wrapped in a Winnie the Pooh blanket and plastic. He died from blunt force trauma, according to the Yolo County Coroner’s report.
However, it wasn’t until October 2019, that DNA finally helped to identify Nikko and connect him to four other siblings, all of whom died before they turned six months old, according to The New York Times. His siblings have been identified as Kato Allen Perez, Mika Alena Perez, another child named Nikko Lee Perez, and Kato Krow Perez. All of the children were born between 1992 and 2001.
The 56-year-old was identified as the children’s father using DNA. It is not clear if the children had the same mother, who has not been identified. The body of Kato Allen Perez has also been found, though the bodies of the other three siblings have not yet been located.
As The New York Times reports, Perez is believed to have killed Nikko Lee in 1996. It is believed that he killed all five of his children the same way.
“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,” Sheriff Tom Lopez said in a statement. “There can be no victim more vulnerable and innocent than an infant, and unfortunately this case involves five.”
And California Attorney General Xavier Becerra added in a statement of his own, “At the California Department of Justice, we will do everything in our power to track down criminals who think they have evaded the grip of justice. We are thankful for the hard work of our DNA team and our partners at the Yolo County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s offices who are fighting every day to keep our communities safe.”
Perez has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, each charge is attached with special circumstances for torture and lying in wait. The charges come just days before Perez was set to be released from prison, The New York Times reports. He has been incarcerated since 2010.
Perez was arraigned on January 28 and, if found guilty, could face life in prison or the death sentence. He has pleaded not guilty.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.