(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — An apparently suicidal mother is facing murder charges after her children were found dead in a Santa Ana, Calif., hotel room, police said.
Authorities charged the 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, Arizona with two counts of murder after she was released from the hospital Saturday night.
Officers found the woman in an Albertsons parking lot near Costa Mesa, Calif., Sayurday afternoon, after she crashed her gray Honda Accord into protective poles surrounding an electrical box in what is being characterized as a suicide attempt, ABC News’ Los Angeles station KABC-TV reported.
When police arrived on the scene, she refused to unlock her doors so they could get her out of the vehicle, KABC-TV reported. She also placed an electrical cord around her neck and attempted to strangle herself, police said.
Officers then smashed a window to break her out of the car. They found a propane tank in the front passenger area of the car, according to KABC-TV.
As paramedics were preparing to take her to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, to be treated for her injuries, she reportedly made mention of her Santa Ana hotel room and her two children, leading police to believe “a crime might have occurred,” Costa Mesa Sgt. Tim Starn told KABC-TV.
Authorities went to the Hampton Inn & Suites where she was staying, and found the two children dead in a room on the hotel’s third-floor.
The children’s ages and identities, as well as their mother’s identity, were not immediately released, according to KABC-TV.
While police said no weapons were found at the scene, the children’s cause of death is under investigation and is being treated as a homicide.
The 42-year-old mother was driving a car with a Georgia license plate, according to KABC-TV. It is unclear why she and her children were in California.
Investigators are trying to track down the children’s father, KABC-TV reported.
Santa Ana police did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
Hampton Inn & Suites did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
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Kevin Liptak, Peter Morris and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN
Lisa France, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin and Holly Yan, CNN