Le Grand woman charged with 3 counts of murder for deaths of her children

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's been over a week since the killing of three young children in Le Grand -- and the community is still in shock.

"I couldn't believe it and I couldn't wrap my mind around something so tragic," said Estela Bustamante, Parent & Community Liaison for Le Grand High School.

The Merced County Sheriff's Office said 30-year-old Patricia Ortiz killed her three children before attempting suicide. She has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances for lying in wait and committing multiple murders.

A candlelight vigil was held Friday night, organized by Le Grand Elementary and the Le Grand High School soccer team. Several classmates of the older two children were in attendance with their families.

"I know it's very difficult for the little ones. They might not understand but when they think about it more in the future, I'm sure it will hit them," said Daniel Callejas, one of the coaches for the Le Grand High School soccer team.

Patricia Ortiz remains in the hospital but will be booked into the Merced County Jail once released. She will be arraigned on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
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