Police: Calif. mother arrested in 2 kids’ deaths

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Police say an apparently suicidal woman whose remarks sent authorities to a Southern California hotel room is the mother of two children found dead there.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna (burr-TAHN’-yuh) said Saturday night that the 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, Ariz., has been released from a hospital and will soon be booked for investigation of two counts of murder.

Police say that earlier Saturday the woman deliberately drove her car into poles guarding an electrical box in a supermarket parking lot.

They say the woman made statements that led them to a Santa Ana hotel room where the two kids were found dead.

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

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Two children were found dead in an Orange County hotel room on Friday after police said an apparently suicidal woman made remarks that led authorities to them, authorities said.

Officers found the children dead in a third-floor room at about 9 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites. Police in nearby Costa Mesa had called to request that Santa Ana officers check on the childrens’ welfare, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

The childrens’ names and ages were not immediately released. The cause of death was under investigation but was being treated as homicide, 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 a supermarket parking lot where a woman had crashed her gray Honda Accord with Georgia license plates into protective poles surrounding an electrical box, Costa Mesa Sgt. Tim Starn said.

“It was clear that it was an intentional act,” Starn said.

As paramedics were preparing to take the injured woman to the hospital, “she made some statements that indicated a crime might have occurred” in Santa Ana, Starn said.

The woman’s name was not immediately released.

She is 42 years old and her last known address was in San Jose, Bertagna said. She was expected to be released to police custody from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach later Saturday.

Her relation to the children and her condition were not immediately disclosed.

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.”

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