Three children, 8 years old and younger, were found dead inside a California apartment building, along with a woman- identified as the children’s mother – who was seriously injured in what authorities believe may be an attempted murder-suicide, according to a published news report.
On Wednesday, the gruesome discovery was made around 2:10 p.m. on Brice Street in Le Grand, located in Merced County when deputies at the Merced County Sheriff’s Office had been conducting a welfare check.
The deceased children have been identified as 8-year-old Anna Ortiz Lara, 5-year-old Matteo Ortiz Lara, and 3-year-old Alexa Ortiz Lara, according to a press release by Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Merced County Sheriff’s office took life-saving measures on Patricia Ortiz, 31, who officials said had attempted suicide and appeared to have self-inflicted wounds. She was transported to a local hospital, and from there will be taken to the Merced County Jail and booked for three counts of murder, the release said.
Deputy Daryl Allen of Merced County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News he and the other deputies made “one of the most gruesome discoveries in their career.”
“This right here is going to affect this town,” Allen said. “It’s a small-knit community and their loss with be felt.”
The cause of death for the children is pending, and an investigation with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau is ongoing.
Le Grand is an unincorporated community of about 1,800 people located about a dozen miles east of Merced, the Associated Press reported.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Merced County Sheriff’s Office at (209) 385-7445.
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