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West Sacramento man arrested for allegedly killing his three kids was a ‘loving and caring’ father, wife says

Hundreds attend vigil for 3 kids allegedly slain by father

An estimated 300 people gathered in the parking lot of Southport Elementary School on Thursday night to remember three young children, two of them students at the school, who were found dead in their home Wednesday night.
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An estimated 300 people gathered in the parking lot of Southport Elementary School on Thursday night to remember three young children, two of them students at the school, who were found dead in their home Wednesday night.

The wife of Robert Hodges, a West Sacramento man suspected of killing their three children and physically attacking her in their apartment Wednesday night, said Friday on Facebook that her husband had never been physically abusive toward her, KCRA reported Friday morning.

Mai Hodges broke her silence about Wednesday’s killings and shed light on the couple’s relationship in the post published on her profile page. Hodges’s account appears to have been deleted or made private sometime after the status was published, so it could not be independently verified by The Bee. Hodges did not attend a vigil in support of her and her children held at Southport Elementary School on Thursday night, saying through a family spokeswoman that she is going through great turmoil.

Hodges described her husband as a “loving and caring husband and father to our children.” She said she did not know why her husband, who was arrested in connection to the three killings and a domestic violence assault, allegedly killed their kids, Kelvin Hodges, 11, Julie Hodges, 9, and Lucas Hodges, 7 months.

“I was never in an abusive marriage, he had always been a caring and loving person,” she wrote, according to KCRA. “But for whatever reason went (through) his mind, heart to do this, I can never imagine why. And I ask myself everyday ‘why?’ 

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Robert Hodges has been arrested in connection with the Sept. 13, 2017 slaying of his three children. Yolo County Sheriff’s Department

Robert Hodges, now housed in the Yolo County jail, has declined requests from media to talk to him. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday. Yolo County District Attorney’s Office officials said they will announce any formal criminal charges filed against Hodges at 11:30 a.m. that day, ahead of the arraignment hearing.

Police say they were called to the couple’s home at the Timbers Apartments in West Sacramento on Wednesday night after receiving reports of a domestic violence incident about 9:20 p.m. Shortly after, officers got more information that there may be three dead children inside the unit, said Sgt. Roger Kinney, a department spokesman.

When police arrived, they found the couple’s children dead inside the second-floor home.

Though the department declined to give details about the children’s deaths or the domestic violence incident, neighbors said Thursday morning that Hodges choked his wife when she returned from work and smothered their children inside the home.

Kinney said he did not know whether Mai Hodges was inside the home during the killing of the children.

Hodges was arrested by a California Highway Patrol officer without incident about midnight later that night near Interstate 80 and West El Camino Avenue. Yolo County Superior Court records only show minor traffic violations under his name.

Elizabeth Hodges, who appears to be Robert Hodges’ mother, had received multiple condolences on her Facebook page as of Friday afternoon. A voice mail left at a phone number in her name was not returned Friday.

Teresa Bustamante, 63, said she was home Wednesday night when police told her three children were killed in her West Sacramento apartment complex.

Three children were found dead in a West Sacramento apartment Wednesday night. Their mother was inside the home and was a victim of domestic violence during the incident.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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