2 kids found in California storage locker killed elsewhere

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2 Children Dead in California Storage Unit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Two young children whose bodies were recently found in a Northern California storage locker were killed around Thanksgiving more than 300 miles away, authorities said.

Autopsies were performed on the bodies of the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy Wednesday. Their names and the exact cause of death were not released.

READ MORE: Pair linked to deaths of 2 children in Calif. storage unit

Shasta County District Attorney Stephen Carlton told the Redding Record Searchlight that evidence found during the autopsy showed "clearly" the children were killed in Monterey County. The homicide investigation will now be transferred there.

A 39-year-old woman and her 17-year-old companion are under investigation in the deaths.

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2 kids found in California storage locker killed elsewhere
In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Christmas stockings and balloons hang on a fence at the house Thursay, Dec. 17, 2015, in Salinas, Calif., where two small children were believed to have been killed. Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

In this photo provided by the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, left, answers questions from the media during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. At right is Salinas police chief Kelly McMillin. Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)

 

In this photo provided by the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo answers questions during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)

In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Christmas stockings and balloons hang on a fence at the house Thursay, Dec. 17, 2015, in Salinas, Calif., where two small children were believed to have been killed. Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

In this photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin, right, addresses the media next to Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, left, during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at City Hall in Salinas, Calif. Prosecutors said Thursday they plan to file first-degree murder charges against a woman and teenager in the death of two children found in a California storage locker. Police have said the children were killed in a Salinas apartment around Thanksgiving then taken 300 miles to the locker in Redding. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 

A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
A commercial storage unit facility is shown Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, where two children were found dead in Redding, Calif. Autopsies were planned for the 3-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy, whose names were not released. No charges have been filed in their deaths. The investigation began with a call about a possible child abuse case in the small town of Quincy, about 220 miles northeast of San Francisco. (Andreas Fuhrmann/Record Searchlight via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation technicians bag up evidence at a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation technicians bag up evidence at a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, crime scene tape wraps around a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 photo released by the Monterey County Weekly, crime scene tape wraps around a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit walk into a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP) 
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
In this photo taken, Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, and released by the Monterey County Weekly, members of the Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigation unit work outside a house in Salinas, Calif., recently lived in by a woman and teenage boy arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, torture and mayhem. Homicides detectives were investigating Tuesday after authorities found two children dead inside a commercial storage unit in Quincy, Calif., over 300 miles north of Salinas. (Nic Coury/Monterey County Weekly via AP)
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Carlton said the autopsy findings show that the children died around Thanksgiving while the family was still living in Salinas.

The case began on Friday, when a 9-year-old girl suffering from neglect and abuse was found near a house in Quincy, where the woman had recently moved.

Police then found the two children dead in a storage locker in Redding, which is about 150 miles away. The condition of the 9-year-old girl was not available Thursday.

The woman and the 17-year-old male were arrested and charged with child abuse, torture and mayhem. Each remained jailed on $1 million bail. They have been named as suspects in the two deaths, but they have not been charged.

Elliot Robinson, head of the Monterey County Department of Social Services, said the woman was visited by county child welfare workers four times over the course of a year to check on complaints of neglect.

None of the five children living in the apartment was removed from woman's care because there was no evidence they were at risk, Robinson said.

The complaints between September 2014 and August were about general neglect, a category that includes poor supervision, improper feeding, lice infestation and dirty household conditions, Robinson said, adding that none of the complaints alleged physical abuse.

"General neglect calls rarely will result in the removal of the child," he said. "More often than not it's about poverty."

Two of the children at the home belonged to the woman, and the other three had been placed in her care by their incarcerated father after their mother died, Robinson said.

The Associated Press typically does not identify abuse victims; it is not naming the woman and a teenage suspect because their relationship to the children is unclear.

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood has said that some officials were so shaken by the abuse endured by the girl that they might have to take time off to recover.

The woman and teen appeared in court Tuesday, but they did not enter pleas. Their arraignments were set for Jan. 7. Their attorneys have declined to comment.

Social services officials were reviewing the agency's handling of the four neglect complaints.

Salinas police planned a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the case.

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