A personal trainer has been accused of decapitating his two children in their family home in California last week. Maurice Taylor Sr., 34, was arrested and taken into custody on Friday for allegedly murdering his 13-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, police found the gruesome scene when they responded to a report of a possible gas leak at the property located in the 45000 block of Century Circle.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said both the victims had been beheaded.

"It was pretty brutal", the Mayor said.

LA County Sheriff deputies said it was unclear how long they had been dead. The children were found in separate bedrooms and appeared to have also suffered from lacerations and stab wounds.

According to police reports, it is unknown what motivated the attack but several clients of Taylor have expressed concern over his well-being earlier in the week. They described Taylor as a "mellow" and "reliable" man and that they tried to contact him but got even more worried when Taylor failed to show up for his Zoom sessions.

Howard Kern, an attorney who had taken personal training sessions with Taylor for seven years, said he reported the gas leak Friday morning out of fear the family may have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning. He added his worries over Taylor saying he "was living under a tremendous amount of pressure" and was in a marriage he described as "contentious."

A property owner in the area said the home environment "looked strange" as the family was said to have kept to themselves and the windows were often "blacked out", the Daily Mail wrote.

Meanwhile, Lt. Dean from the LASD said there was no sign of a gas leak when the fire department arrived at the property.

"It doesn't seem to be that the cause of death from the two people inside have anything to do with a gas leak," he said.

One male and one female adult, along with two other children were also at the location during the incident and are currently being questioned by Homicide Investigators. Pending further interviews, the relationship between them and the victims is unknown at this time.

Taylor was arrested without a struggle and booked into Lancaster station where he is being held on $2million ( £ 1.5 million )bond. He is due to appear in court on Tuesday.

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