A couple wanted in connection with a woman's killing and the kidnapping of her three small children from Southern California should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said Wednesday.
Joshua Aaron Robertson, 27, and Brittany Humphrey, 22, fled the Los Angeles area with the children on Interstate 40, and drove through Arizona and into New Mexico, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Humphrey is the half-sister of the dead woman, and therefore the children's aunt.
Humphrey, Robertson and the children are last known to have been in the Gallup area. That's nearly 600 miles east of where the children's mother was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds along a road in a remote area of Los Angeles County on Aug. 14.
Their mother, who didn't have identification on her body, was identified four days after her death as Kimberly Harvill.
The children include two girls, 2-year-old Joslynn Watkins and 5-year-old Rylee Watkins, and a boy, 3-year-old Brayden Watkins. Their father died previously.
Authorities were considering issuing an Amber Alert for the children, sheriff's Capt. Steve Katz said.
He said an alert hadn't been issued yet because investigators "wanted to do this a bit more surreptitiously out of concern for the kids."
"You can surmise that we have exhausted some investigative leads and they've not been as profitable as we'd like them to be," Katz said.
Harvill and her children most recently lived in Fresno and were transitory, moving from motel to motel, Katz said, adding that they depended on panhandling to get by.
Harvill was involved with meth, as were Humphrey and Robertson, Katz said.
Humphrey and Robertson were living in Lebec, the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County where Harvill was recently staying with her children, Lt. Joe Mendoza said
He said it's unclear whether Harvill and her children were staying with Humphrey and Robertson.
Mendoza said investigators know of no ongoing conflict between the sisters.
An arrest warrant for kidnapping has been issued for the couple. Investigators say the couple are considered persons of interest in Harvill's death.
"Due to the fact that immediately after the murder or sometime shortly after, it is suspicious that they did not come forward to law enforcement and instead they fled eastbound towards other states," Mendoza said.
He added that the children are considered at risk.
The couple has family in Nebraska, and ties to Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, he said.
The couple is believed to be in Harvill's 1999 green Ford Expedition, which has California plates 7BEK024 that may have been swapped for temporary paper plates, stick-figure stickers of a family and a sticker that reads "R.I.P. Chad Watkins."
Robertson has a criminal history that includes a conviction on illegal weapons charges and is on probation.