UPLAND (CBSLA) — An Upland mother threw her 1-year-old son from the second story of her Upland apartment and killed her 6-month-old daughter, police said Tuesday.
The incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. in the 600 block of N. Wedgewood Avenue, where witnesses said the mother – identified as 24-year-old Tierra Ortega – dangled the boy from the second-floor landing before throwing him over.
“As soon as she saw the officers and officers saw her, she jumped from the second-story landing,” said Upland police Captain Marcello Blanco.
Officers then checked the woman’s apartment and found her infant daughter unresponsive with a fractured skull.
Both victims were flown to an area hospital, but the girl died a short time later, officials said.
The children’s father was not at home at the time of the incident. He was called to the home, where he attempted to push past officers when he arrived. Police say there was no history of violence at the home.
By nightfall, grieving neighbors had propped two stuffed bunnies on the mailbox, one blue and the other pink.
“As a mother, I can’t figure it out, I can’t understand it. Other than post-partum depression,” one resident said.
Instead of condemning the mother, many in the community offered compassion, wondering if Ortega was suffering from mental illness.
“I would have never thought she would be capable of doing anything like that,” said neighbor Kaeleigh Calderon. “But mothers go through post-partum depression. It’s a real thing.”
The property manager said the family of four moved in from La Puente about a year ago.
“They’ve always been very quiet,” Calderon said. “I’ve never seen them arguing. Never seen them bickering.”
Ortega is facing child abuse, murder and attempted murder charges.