LYNWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — A woman charged with murder in the bathtub drownings of her young daughters last year committed suicide while in jail, officials said Wednesday.
Lorna Valle, 33, was found dead Feb. 23 at the Lynwood jail.
The coroner listed her cause of death as asphyxia.
Valle was charged with murder in the drowning death of her 5-year-old daughter, Marian, and her one-year-old daughter, Lindsay.
Police were called to the family’s home on Feb. 15, 2012, after the children’s father, Jose Lopez, discovered the girls.
Lopez came home from the grocery store to find his wife trying to drown the girls, police said.
The girls were found in the bathroom of a small converted garage where the family lived, LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said.
He said the children were “not conscious and not breathing when the fire department arrived.”
Both girls were rushed to California Hospital, where one-year-old Lindsay was pronounced dead.
Lopez later made the decision to remove Marian from life-support and donate her organs.
Valle reportedly had a history of mental illness. She was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
A family cousin, Luis Padillas, told KTLA that Valle had sought professional help, but was turned away.
He said she was an illegal alien and was not treated because she had no papers.