LE GRAND, Calif. (KGPE) – It has been more than a week since three children were found dead at an apartment complex in Le Grand and community members came together to hold a candlelight vigil Friday night.
“When things like this happen, they’re senseless, there is no reason why,” said Scott Borba Superintendent/Principal of Le Grand Union Elementary School District, he continued. “And so I really wanted my community, to put aside, the questions, the wondering, should we have seen something we didn’t see, anger towards anyone involved, all that to be set aside and have people the opportunity to just grieve.”
Community members are still grappling with the deaths of 8-year-old Anna, 5-year-old Matteo, and 3-year-old Alexa, who authorities say were killed by their mother Patricia Ortiz before she attempted to take her own life.
Ortiz is facing three counts of murder along with special circumstances for lying in wait and committing multiple murders.
Anna and Matteo were enrolled at Le Grand Elementary School.
“Hearing that it was two of our scholars, it just crushed us,” said Borba.
Members of the elementary school and the high school boy’s soccer team, where the father Isreal Ortiz was a coach, put together the vigil.
“We have three hearts and a cross, for the three little ones that have tragically passed away,” said Daniel Callejas, Le Grand High School soccer coach.
Lighting up the hearts and giving everyone at the vigil a candle, which Borba says signals the light the children brought to Le Grand.
“It’s an incredible community, resilient community, and a tight-knit community,” said Borba.
The mother is expected to appear in court next Wednesday.