A woman placed a toddler in a burning SUV then climbed in, and both died in the fire, police said Friday. Deputies were called to a vehicle fire Thursday night in the unincorporated Athens area south of downtown Los Angeles and found the SUV engulfed in flames, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. After the fire was extinguished, authorities found the two bodies, the AP reports.
Witnesses told deputies the woman got in and out of the vehicle while it was burning, the department said in a statement. They also told police that people in a nearby park yelled at the woman to stay outside the vehicle, but she ignored them. The woman and child, estimated to have been 3 or 4 years old, died at the scene. Homicide investigators are looking into what drove the woman to want to kill herself and her child. Authorities also are trying to determine how the fire started and identify the woman and child. (Read more Los Angeles stories.)