Calif. police: Mother arrested in 2 kids' deaths

AP News
Posted: Sep 15, 2013 12:17 AM
Calif. police: Mother arrested in 2 kids' deaths

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Police found two children dead in a Southern California hotel room Saturday after authorities say their mother crashed her car outside a supermarket and made remarks that led authorities to them.

The 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, Ariz., would be booked on suspicion of two counts of murder following her release from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., on Saturday night, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. Police said the woman appeared to have been suicidal when officers responded to the crash site.

"It was clear that it was an intentional act," Costa Mesa Sgt. Tim Starn said.

Officers found the children dead in a third-floor room at about 9 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana.

Police in nearby Costa Mesa had called to request that Santa Ana officers check on the children's welfare, Bertagna said.

The cause of death was under investigation, Bertagna said. No weapon had been recovered from the scene.

About an hour before the discovery, Costa Mesa police were called to the scene of the Albertsons parking lot where the woman had crashed her gray Honda Accord into protective poles surrounding an electrical box, Starn said.

As paramedics were preparing to take the injured woman to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, "she made some statements that indicated a crime might have occurred" in Santa Ana, Starn said.

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No names have been released, and the age and gender of the children were also being withheld while relatives are notified.

The woman was from Arizona but had a previous address in San Jose, Calif., and her car had a Georgia license plate, police said. It was not clear why she was in Orange County.

Hotel guests were stunned at the discovery at the quiet inn on a sunny weekend in Southern California.

"My goodness if there's two children involved that's just horrendous to say the least," Mike Ramey, who was staying at the hotel with his fiancee, told KABC-TV. "As a parent, it's just a heartbreaker."