Los Angeles woman stabbed partner dead, threw infant to death, killed self, police say

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A Los Angeles woman fatally stabbed her partner and possibly threw her two children from a moving SUV on the freeway before she killed herself by crashing into a tree Monday morning, authorities said.

An 8-month-old girl died and her 9-year-old sister was injured in the violence, which began around 3:40 a.m., Los Angeles police said Tuesday.

The children’s mother, Danielle Johnson, 34, got in an argument with a man whom she lived with, Jaelen Chaney, and stabbed him with a knife, police said.

aerial murder investigation CHP
California Highway Patrol officers investigate the recovery of a dead infant and an older child along Interstate 405 in Culver City, Calif., on Monday.NBC Los Angeles

Johnson then took her two children in a Porsche SUV, and at 4:30 a.m. that car was seen driving on Interstate 405 “when the two children were expelled from the vehicle while it was moving,” police said in a statement.

Investigators believe the children fell or were thrown out of the moving vehicle, the California Highway Patrol said. The infant died, and the 9-year-old was taken to a hospital with what police said were moderate injuries.

Johnson then sped into a tree in Redondo Beach, a coastal city in the Los Angeles region, at more than 100 mph, police said. She did not survive the crash, which occurred around 5 a.m.

Investigators later found Chaney, 29, dead in the Woodland Hills home where they lived with Johnson’s children, police said. The deadly incidents were later connected and determined to be a double murder and a suicide, police said.

“We really don’t know why this incident escalated to such violence,” Police Lt. Guy Golan said, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The highway patrol said it was broadcast a medical emergency at 4:29 a.m. about the injured children on the freeway, and authorities found the infant with major injuries. The Culver City Fire Department pronounced her dead at 4:44 a.m., the highway patrol said.

Redondo Beach is around 30 miles south of Woodland Hills, which is in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. The 405 Freeway is the main artery linking the western part of the valley to the Los Angeles basin.

The surviving child is in the care of Child Protective Services, NBC Los Angeles reported.

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If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat live at 988lifeline.org. You can also visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional support.

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