Hampton Inn Suites on Grand and Dyer in Santa Ana
Mindy Schauer/Orange County Register/AP
An Arizona woman was arrested on suspicion of killing her son and daughter after she tried to crash her car into an electrical box 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 as she was being transported to the hospital where to find her children in the nearby city of Santa Ana and what had happened to them, 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 for the hotel room where the children were found late Saturday, Bertagna said.
"Last night, it was mainly trying to figure out who these people were and dealing with the scene itself," he said.
Earlier in the day, police in nearby Costa Mesa were called to a parking lot where the woman had crashed her gray Honda Accord into protective poles surrounding an electrical box, Costa Mesa police Sgt. Tim Starn said. Police said the woman appeared to have been suicidal when officers responded to the crash site.
"It was clear that it was an intentional act," he said.
Officers 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."