California mother kills six-month-old daughter, throws son off second floor balcony and then jumps herself
Tierra Ortega, the mother, survived the fall but faces charges of homicide, attempted homicide, and child abuse resulting in death in connection to the incident on Tuesday
A California mother allegedly killed her six-month-old daughter before throwing her other 17-month-old son off the balcony and then jumping herself. Thanks to quick medical attention, the mother and the son thrown off the balcony survived.
According to a press release by the Upland Police Department, 911 dispatchers received a call from a concerned neighbor about a screaming infant from the apartment of 24-year-old Tierra Ortega on Tuesday, February 26. The neighbor told the operator that she saw Ortega holding the child over a second-story landing and that she then proceeded to release the toddler to the ground below.
When officers arrived at the apartment, located on the 600 block of N. Wedgewood Avenue, they saw the child on the floor. Ortega subsequently jumped from the second-story landing herself, landing head first.
As officers at the scene worked to provide the infant and Ortega first aid, other officers conducted a safety sweep of the mother's apartment and found a six-month-old child unresponsive and not breathing. All three were transported to a local hospital, with the children then airlifted to the Loma Linda Medical Center.
The male toddler, who the police department later identified as 17-month-old Jerricho, survived and is said to be in stable condition, though he did suffer a broken foot. However, the female infant, six-month-old Ezlynn, succumbed to her injuries. Her cause of death is believed to be a skull fracture resulting in head trauma and other internal injuries.
Speaking about the incident to KTLA, Upland Police Captain Marcelo Blanco said, "That’s the worst type of situation that we can encounter, when you have a child in that state," adding that Jerricho was now doing "quite amazing."
He said the children's father was at work at the time and that he was just as dumbfounded his wife had done such a thing. "The father was in as much awe as anybody else that was there, and shocked to even believe that something like this could have happened," he revealed.
The Upland Police Department is helping fundraise for the Ortega family, with Blanco saying, "The dad works for waste management in the area, and unfortunately, right now he is not at work; he is at the hospital by his son’s side, which is where he needs to be. He has to worry now about burying his daughter."
All the proceeds directed to help the family with funeral expenses for Ezlynn and recovery expenses for Jerricho. The fundraisers are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 6, at either of the MOD Pizza locations in Upland.
Ortega, who was treated for facial injuries, is facing charges of homicide, attempted homicide, and child abuse resulting in death in connection to the incident. Investigators have not yet established a motive.