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3 children found dead inside California apartment; father arrested

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WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Three children were found dead inside an apartment in Northern California on Wednesday night.

Robert Hodges , 33, was arrested for the murder of his three children at an apartment in West Sacramento.

West Sacramento police received a domestic violence call just after 9:20 p.m. at an apartment complex, Sgt. Roger Kinney said.

When police responded, they discovered the three children and immediately began to perform life-saving measures. However, a short time later, the three children were pronounced dead.

When police arrived, the suspect had already fled.

Around midnight, the California Highway Patrol noticed the suspect's vehicle on westbound Interstate 80 near El Camino.

Robert Hodges, 33, was arrested for murder and taken into custody without incident.

A woman described as the wife of Hodges and mother of the three children was also at the scene.

Authorities also say Hodges is the father of the children.

Police described the woman as a domestic violence victim but did not explain the extent of  her injuries.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told KTXL she was sitting on her apartment stairs when she saw the mother run out in distress.

The mother had been choked and Hodges was not far behind her. The neighbor called 911 and tried to help the mother.

She said she went into the home to check on the children and found all three of them dead. The woman believes the children were suffocated.

"[Hodges seemed] very very disconnected and absent and very content. Just emotionless," the neighbor said. "That was the work of a monster that's not someone that's here with us on Earth."

"We don't understand what happened, we really don't," she told the Associated Press. "Everything appeared to be OK" between the two.

Police haven't released the ages of the victims, but resident Irene Aiello said the two older children were 11 and 9, and a third child was born in January.

She said the couple had been married for at least 12 years.

Other neighbors described the children as "happy-go-lucky" and said it didn't seem like there was much out of the ordinary.