SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An Arizona woman who was arrested on suspicion of killing her son and daughter and then crashing her car into an electrical box in an apparent suicide attempt had a propane tank in her vehicle and tried to choke herself with a rope or belt as rescuers approached, a police spokesman said Sunday.
The woman, who crashed her car Saturday outside a Home Depot in Costa Mesa, told officers they could find her children in a hotel in the nearby city of Santa Ana, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
The woman’s name, the ages of the children and their cause of death were being withheld Sunday because the father lives in another state and has not yet been notified, Bertagna said.
The 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale was released from a hospital into police custody on Saturday night.
It was not clear why the woman, whose car has a Georgia license plate, was in Orange County or what links she had to the area.
Police obtained a search warrant late Saturday for the hotel room where the children were found.
“Last night, it was mainly trying to figure out who these people were and dealing with the scene itself,” he said.
Police in nearby Costa Mesa were called to a parking lot Saturday where the woman had crashed her gray Honda Accord into protective poles surrounding an electrical box, Costa Mesa police Sgt. Tim Starn said.
“It was clear that it was an intentional act,” he said.
Officers then found the children dead in a third-floor room at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana.
No weapon had been recovered from the scene, Bertagna said.
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 fiancée, told KABC-TV. “As a parent, it’s just a heartbreaker.”