A mother in California is accused of murdering her three young children before attempting to take her own life, authorities said.
Patricia Ortiz, 30, was arrested on three counts of murder in connection to the triple homicide of Anna Ortiz Lara, 8, Matteo Ortiz Lara, 5, and Alexa Ortiz Lara, 3, KFSN-TV reported.
“She's been cooperative, she's spoken with the detectives,” Merced County Sheriff's Office Deputy Daryl Allen said at a press conference. “I don't know what the extent of those conversations is, but she has spoken to them.”
A neighbor told the outlet Ortiz’s husband was shouting, “Help me, my kids.”
“The husband was going crazy. A gentleman was helping [Ortiz] while she was in the tub. She’d slit her wrists and was bleeding. A guy was helping her trying to make sure she was alive,” said the woman who wished to remain anonymous.
The witness noted the victims “were cold and just gone.”
According to KFSN-TV, investigators said the older children both attended classes at their nearby elementary school earlier in the day of their murders.
In a statement, Le Grand Elementary School District officials said the school community was “heartbroken” about the “enormous loss” of the young children.