California sheriff’s deputy arrived at an apartment complex in suburban California Wednesday to find three of the children and their mother dead from a suicide attempt.
Patricia Ortiz, a mother of three aged 31 years, from Le Grand in California, will now face murder charges for allegedly killing her 3- and 5-year-old children.
Someone called in a welfare check to a home on Brice Street in Le Grand around 2:10 p.m., according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
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“Deputies arrived and found three dead children in the residence, as well as an adult female with what appeared to have been self-inflicted burns,” the department stated in a Thursday statement.
Investigators stated that Ortiz was found by deputies with severe injuries. They immediately took “life-saving” measures at the scene, and Ortiz was rushed to a hospital for treatment. She was due to be booked at the Merced County Jail.
Authorities identified the children as Alexa Ortiz Lara (3 years old), Matteo Ortiz Lara (5 years old), and Anna Ortiz Lara (8 years old).
On Wednesday, sheriff’s department spokesman Daryl Allen said Le Grand is a small, tight-knit town.
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“I can tell you that from living here for a long time, this whole town — I’m going to call it a family — everybody in this town knows everybody,” he said. “So when something happens like this, it affects everybody.”
He said he could not yet reveal the children’s cause of death or the nature of Ortiz’s injuries due to the pending investigation.
Elias Vargas, a neighbor said he was at home when he heard a man scream and then saw him walk back and forth between the apartment complexes and Le Grand Elementary, just a few feet away.
“He said, ‘My kids were killed!’ so that’s when I realized something serious happened there at the house,” Vargas told KFSN-TV.
The children’s father was identified as Israel Ortiz in a crowdfunding post that was set up to help the family cover funeral expenses. Friday evening he could not be reached for comment immediately.
Online records did not show Ortiz being held at the county jail Friday night.
Anybody with information on the case is asked call detectives at (209) 385-472.
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273–TALK (8255 if you or someone you care about is thinking of taking your own life.
California mom charged with killing her 3 kids in attempted murder-suicide | News World Update