Double-Murder Suicide In Family Dispute

April 9, 2024 ·

The LAPD are investigating a double-murder suicide that transpired in Woodland Hills. Photo by Anis Rahman via Unsplash.

WOODLAND HILLS—On Tuesday, April 9, the Los Angeles Police Department Topanga Division announced that on April 8, around 7:35 a.m., officers responded to the 6200 block of Variel Avenue for a radio call of a homicide investigation. Operations Valley Bureau (OVB) homicide detectives were notified and responded to the scene learning of two related incidents that transpired following the homicide on Variel Avenue.

The LAPD reported that the first incident involved two young children being found on the 405 Freeway near Howard Hughes Parkway. The second incident involved a single vehicle fatal traffic collision in Redondo Beach.

Detectives worked in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Redondo Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office to determine if the incidents were related and discovered that the victim, Jaelen Chaney, 29, and the suspect, Danielle Johnson, 34, resided together with her two young children, aged eight months old and nine years old, in a residence in the 6200 block of Variel Avenue.

On April 8, around 3:40 a.m., Chaney and Johnson became involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into Johnson becoming violent, stabbing Chaney, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene. A knife with biological evidence was later recovered from the scene, where Johnson fled with her two children in a dark-colored Porsche SUV.

Around 4:30 a.m., the dark-colored SUV was spotted driving on the 405 Freeway when the two children were expelled from the vehicle while it was moving. The nine-year-old child sustained moderate injuries from the fall and was transported to a local hospital. The eight-month-old child sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at scene.

Around 5 a.m., Johnson drove her vehicle at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour in Redondo Beach near the intersection of Vincent Street and the Pacific Coast Highway and collided with a tree. Johnson did not survive the crash and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

These events transpired before LAPD personnel were notified of the crime. Around 7:35 a.m., neighbors on Variel Avenue spotted the front door open, which prompted them to check on the well-being of the residents. It was at that time Chaney was discovered dead inside the apartment. After a thorough investigation and collaboration with the above agencies, homicide detectives determined that the incidents were all related and no further threat to the community.

Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Operations Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives at (818) 374-9550. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wanting to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

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