Family of Amber Alert suspect speaks out

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MONTEBELLO, Calif. – The family of the man taken down by SWAT officers on a Santee freeway off-ramp Thursday said Daniel Perez and his wife had a history of problems.

Daniel and Erica Perez and their four sons, ages 6 to 11, had not been seen since Friday, Dec. 5.

Billie Holguin, an aunt of Daniel Perez, and her son spoke to media about the relationship between Daniel and his wife.

"Their relationship was always rocky. They had their problems," said Mark Castilllo, cousin of Daniel.

Holguin and Castillo said the couple had a history of domestic violence, but that it was Erica who was violent.

"She stabbed my nephew. There was a restraining order on her that she couldn't be around him," Holguin said.

The family said Daniel and Erica were married for about 10 years, but their relationship was unstable.

"He had told me even though they were living together, that she was being with guys down the street," Castillo said.

"There was extramarital affairs on both ends. They were both doing it to each other," Holguin said.

Daniel's aunt said he was a good father.

"He tried for the sake of his family, his children. No matter what he wanted to try and make a life for his children and her," Holguin said.

Police confirmed Thursday a body found in Erica's car Wednesday to be her.

As of Thursday night, Daniel Perez had not been named as a suspect in his wife's murder. He remains a person of interest but currently faces charges of parental abduction and fleeing.

The family said no matter the outcome, the real victims are the children.

"They're innocent little boys -- very, very good boys," Holguin said. "It's so sad that they're going to have to through this...without a mother and without a father now. What's going to become of these children?"

In a Thursday afternoon news conference, officials said all four children were “fine” and would be driven to Montebello and placed with the Department of Children Services.


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