LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles man who was on the run for more than two weeks after fatally stabbing and suffocating his mother and 6-year-old nephew was caught last week.
David Cordoba, 26, is charged with two counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder, according to prosecutors. He is being held in lieu of more than $5 million bail.
Los Angeles Police Department investigators said that officers were asked to conduct a welfare check around 10:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the home Cordoba shared with his mother, Maria Rodas, in the Pico-Union neighborhood of central Los Angeles. When they arrived, they found Rodas, 60, and her young grandson, Alan Cordova-Robles, dead.
Another family member, Erick Cordova, had been stabbed in the back but survived, according to KTLA. Cordova, who is Cordoba’s brother and Alan’s father, had gone to the home to pick up his son when he was confronted by his brother.
Cordova disarmed his brother after being stabbed, the news station reported.
“He stabbed me in the back and I started to yell out for my mom, and nobody came,” Cordova said in an interview. “God gave me strength to take the knife out of his hands.”
According to their autopsies, Rodas died of multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma to the head. Young Alan also suffered stab wounds, but his cause of death was asphyxia due to probable smothering or strangulation.
In a Christmastime interview with KTLA, Cordova urged his brother to turn himself in.
“We’re begging you, please turn yourself in, call the police,” he said.
A warrant was issued for Cordoba’s arrest on New Year’s Eve. He remained at large for 16 days before he was arrested Wednesday near the intersection of 3rd and Berendo streets.
He had apparently never left Los Angeles.
The motive for the homicides was unclear, but police officials said it began with a “family dispute.”
“If convicted as charged, Cordoba faces a possible maximum sentence of 39 years to life in state prison,” prosecutors said in a statement.
GoFundMe pages have been set up for both victims. The family’s goal is to get Rodas’ body back to her native Guatemala.
“My mother was a woman with such a noble heart that whoever knows her (was) left with a beautiful impression of her for being so sweet and Unique with people,” Rodas’ daughter, Julieta Guzman, wrote on the fundraising page. “(A) woman who always helped others.”
On Alan’s page, which has surpassed the fundraising goal of $45,000, his mother wrote that he was an amazing, loving child.
“He was known to spread positivity and bring greatness wherever he went,” Monica Robles wrote. “He loved being a big brother and helping his mommy with anything she needed.
“Alan was lucky enough to have two daddies in his life. His father and stepfather loved Alan, and they were his superheroes.”
“He loved making beats, cooking, dancing and playing Minecraft on his iPad,” she wrote.
Administrators at PUC Milagro Charter School, where Alan was a student, also mourned his death.
“Our school community is heartbroken with the news of the tragic and unimaginable loss of student Alan Cordova-Robles,” the school tweeted. “Our thoughts & prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
The boy’s family spoke to KTLA about their loss.
“My baby was 6 years old,” a weeping Cordova said. “All his (Christmas) gifts are in the house, unopened.”
“It’s really painful to sit here and think this is my reality right now and my son is no longer here,” Robles told the news station.
As for Cordoba, Robles had a message for him.
“How could you do this? To your mother?” she said, addressing the camera. “You have no soul.”