Merced County mother accused of murdering her 3 kids set to make first court appearance

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Courtesy of the Merced County Jail

Jan. 26 Update: Mother accused of killing three children make first court appearance

Patricia Ortiz, the Le Grand woman accused of killing her three children on Jan. 12, is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in Merced County Superior Court, where she is expected to be arraigned on murder charges.

She was booked in the Merced County Jail after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation in the Marie Green Psychiatric Center in Merced.

Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday released a jailhouse booking photo of Ortiz. She is being held at the jail without bail, according to the jail’s website.

Ortiz’s three children — Anna Ortiz Lara, 8, Matteo Ortiz Lara, 5, and Alexa Ortiz Lara, 3 — were found dead in their beds by their father, who called out to his neighbors for help, according to witnesses who spoke to the Sun-Star.

Patricia Ortiz was also found in the bathroom with cuts on her wrists in an effort to take her own life, witnesses said.

After she was transported to the hospital to receive treatment for her injuries, she was arrested and taken to the psychiatric center before being booked in the Merced County Jail.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Ortiz on Jan. 21, in which she is charged with three counts of murder with enhancements of lying in wait and committing multiple murders.

Neighbors of the Ortiz family and members of the community were aghast at the killings, which shook the rural farm town.

“This is such a small town, and nothing like that ever happens here,” Cecilia Rodriguez, a store clerk at the Le Grand Village Market, previously told the Sun-Star. “We all think it’s shocking.”