MERCED, Calif. (KGPE) – A Merced woman accused of killing her three children made her first court appearance on Wednesday.

30-year-old Patricia Ortiz appeared via zoom at the Merced County Superior Courthouse. Ortiz faces three murder charges with special circumstances laying in wait for the deaths of her children all under the age of 8. Ortiz was appointed a public defender, did not enter a plea, and was ordered to not have any contact with her children’s father.

“Mrs. Ortiz you are ordered to have no contact whatsoever that includes in-person, by mail, or social media with the father of the alleged victims in this case,” said the Judge.

Back on January 12, tragedy struck the small town of Le Grand after 8-year-old Anna, 5-year-old Matteo, and 3-year-old Alexa were found dead at an apartment complex.

Officials said their mother, Patricia Ortiz, killed her children and then attempted to take her own life. Ortiz was taken to the hospital and then transported to the Marie Green Psychiatric Center.

Anna and Matteo were students at Le Grand Elementary and their father coaches the Le Grand High School’s soccer team.

The school rallied together over two weeks to show support for the children’s father and other family members through fundraisers and a candlelight vigil to remember the three angels.

“Take a moment just to grieve the loss of Anna, Matteo, and Alexa,” said Le Grand Superintendent and Principal Scott Borba. “I have been praying that out of this tragedy our community would be strong.”

A GoFundMe account has raised over $54,000 for the Children’s funeral expenses, which was held on Wednesday.

Ortiz’s arraignment was continued until Friday, February 4. Ortiz is expected to make her plea then. She is not being held on bail.