TULARE COUNTY, California – Family members on Monday identified the 12-year-old boy who authorities say was drowned by his mother in Tulare County on Saturday.
Deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to the 18900 block of Avenue 184 in Porterville regarding a suspicious circumstance.
Sheriff’s said the caller said a woman, identified as 45-year-old Sherri Telnas, was acting strangely and had taken her two male children ages 7 and 12 to a field across the street.
Deputies said while en-route to the scene they were notified the two children were found in a full irrigation ditch near a cornfield and were not responsive.
Deputies said they arrived and rendered medical aid. Both boys were taken to a local hospital where the 12-year-old died from his injuries.
Telnas was taken into custody at the scene without incident. She faces murder charges.
The 12-year-old was identified Monday as Jackson Telnas.
An autopsy was performed Monday, and the cause of death was ruled as freshwater drowning, the Tulare County Coroner’s Office said.
Jackson’s 7-year-old brother is still in critical condition at Valley Children’s Hospital.
The Mineral County Sheriff’s Office in Montana released its own press release Monday. They confirmed Telnas is the woman who was initially charged in Mineral County, Montana, in April 2008, with attempted deliberate homicide, a felony.
It was alleged in charging documents that Telnas admitted to attempting to drown her 10-month-old son on April 16, 2008, in the Clark Fork River near St. Regis, Montana, because “bad thoughts or voices” had told her to do so.
That 10-month-old was Jackson.
In a November 2008 plea agreement, Telnas pleaded no contest to two counts of felony criminal endangerment. At the time of her change of plea, the 10-month old son had recovered fully and was residing in Missoula, Montana, with his father, the Sheriff’s Office said.
According to public records, Telnas was sentenced on Jan. 12, 2009 to a Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services commitment due to a history of mental illness.
A GoFundMe account was set up by family members. Here’s what was posted on the page:
On Saturday, June 29th early in the morning, we lost Jackson Telnas in a tragic event. His younger brother is in critical condition at a local hospital in Central California.
At this time, we are asking for help with funeral costs for Jackson & medical costs for little Jacob.
Any excess funds will be used to help our family in this time of tragedy, as many of us will be missing time from work.
Jackson was a sweet, funny, smart & kind 12 year old who was so very loved by his family.
Anything you can give to support our family in our time of heartache is sincerely appreciated.GoFundMe page description