Mother Jailed in Children's Slayings

Police arrested the mother of two children whose bodies were discovered in a Santa Ana hotel room Saturday after the woman apparently tried to kill herself in a nearby city, authorities said.

The 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, Ariz., was questioned at a nearby hospital then booked into jail on murder charges, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Her identity was being withheld while coroner's officials tried to track down the children's father, Bertagna said.

The woman told police about the children after she crashed her car about 8 a.m. in an apparent suicide attempt behind a Home Depot in the 2300 block of Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa (map), police said.

When officers arrived, she refused to come out of the car and attempted to strangle herself with an electrical cord, police told NBC4. She intentionally crashed into an electrical box with propane tanks in her front seat, but the propane did not ignite, according to Costa Mesa police.

Officers had to smash out one of the side windows to get her out of the car.

"As she was getting processed to the hospital, she made some statements that indicated a crime might have occurred (in Santa Ana)," Costa Mesa police Sgt. Tim Starn told City News Service.

Costa Mesa police notified Santa Ana officers about 8:20 a.m to check on the welfare of two children at the hotel, Bertagna said.

Officers found the bodies in a third-floor room after 9 a.m. at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana and opened a homicide investigation into the case, officials said. Police sources told NBC4 they were found in the bathtub.

Police wouldn't disclose how the children died until a coroner's investigation is complete, but said that there were no signs the children were shot or stabbed.

Officials would not disclose the gender or age of the children.

Though the mother was living in Scottsdale, she had a previous address in San Jose and her gray 2006 Honda Accord had Georgia license plates, Bertagna said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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