Girl, 13, Dies After Violent Carjacking of Vehicle With 4 Kids Inside: Officials

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 6, 2020Updated: July 6, 2020

A 13-year-old girl died after a carjacking occurred while she and her three brothers and sisters were inside the vehicle in Southern California, officials said.

Family members identified Isabella Cortes as the victim. She and her three siblings—who are ages 8, 11, and 18—were sitting in the vehicle when Jose Aguilar, 27, jumped in the vehicle while her parents were nearby waiting for food at a restaurant in Pico Rivera, sheriff’s officials said.

The 18-year-old and 11-year-old managed to escape, but Isabella and the 8-year-old were trapped inside when Aguilar sped away, said the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, according to CBS Los Angeles.

“Once the suspect got into the car, the 18-year-old girl fought with the suspect briefly and then she came out of the van,” said Lt. Barry Hall of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told ABC News. “The doors were open, because he accelerated both doors came open on the van. She got pushed out of the van or jumped out of the van as did her 11-year-old brother.”

Aguilar is accused of traveling at a high rate of speed up to 60 mph, officials told the outlet, while the two children were still inside.

“The vehicle continued westbound and that is when the 8-year-old boy and the 13-year-old girl came out of the vehicle,” Hall continued. “Both of them sustained major injuries and the 13-year-old girl died at the scene.”

It’s unclear whether the children were pushed out of the car or jumped out. The 8-year-old boy was taken to the hospital, where his condition is unknown.

Aguilar then continued driving and eventually crashed into another vehicle before trying to carjack another car that had a mother and child inside, officials said.

The driver of that vehicle was out of the car buying fruit at a roadside stand while his wife and 2-year-old son were inside, Hall told the Whittier Daily News. The suspect tried to get away with the car before the driver jumped into the backseat before placing the suspect in a chokehold, Hall said.

The car then crashed into a nearby bridge before Aguilar tried to flee via the previously-hijacked van, Hall said. Nearby vendors who saw the incident unfold rushed to the scene and stopped the suspect from fleeing, authorities said.

Aguilar, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of murder, carjacking, and kidnapping in the case. Officials said he was injured and taken to a hospital.