KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man is charged with three counts of first degree murder for the deaths of a woman and her two children in Kansas City, Kansas.
Ismael Caballero, 31, also is charged with two counts of arson for allegedly setting fire to the family's home.
Caballero is in the Wyandotte County Jail.
Kansas City, Kansas firefighters found the bodies early Monday morning in a house at 29 N, Mill Street.
Fire crews were on their way back from another call when one crew smelled smoke and went to investigate.
They found fire coming from the house and went inside to fight the blaze, according to a fire department spokesman.
Firefighters searched the house and found the bodies of Yazmin Rodriguez, 31, her daughter, Amerikha Rodriguez, 14 and her son, JeanCarlo Rodriguez, 10.
Kansas City, Kansas police quickly determined the three deaths were homicides.
They arrested Caballero Tuesday.
41 Action News spoke with family and friends of the victims.
"She was working so hard for her kids,'' said Ana Rodiguez, sister-in-law of Yazmin. "She was a single mother. And she was working so hard to keep them and they were always together with my niece and nephew. They wouldn't leave each other.''
Rodriguez is stunned by the murders.
"They were the happiest kids ever,'' she said. "I don't know why anybody would want to hurt them.''
Friends and neighbors stopped by the house on Wednesday, setting up flowers and candles.
The news shocked the neighborhood.
“Of course any tragedy like this, any death is horrible but when I hear that children are involved, it’s especially heartbreaking,” said neighbor Nichole Varela.
The children's aunt, Zaida Rodriguez, said she was infuriated to see a post on Caballero’s Facebook page the afternoon of the murders.
“He literally was like, he misses my sister-in-law and can’t believe it. Wow, you have that motivation to even post it and act like you didn’t do it?” said Rodriguez.