Upland Mom Accused of Killing Baby, Dropping Other Child Off Balcony Is Charged

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An Upland mother accused of killing her baby girl and dropping her other child over a balcony before jumping herself earlier this week has been charged, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Tierra Ortega is seen in a booking photo released by Upland police on Feb. 26, 2019.
Tierra Ortega is seen in a booking photo released by Upland police on Feb. 26, 2019.

Tierra Ortega, 24, faces one count of assault on a child causing death as well as attempted murder with an allegation of great bodily injury. Investigators found that there were “multiple assaults” on each victim, officials said.

The incident was reported about 11:30 a.m., when a caller told dispatchers that a woman was dangling a child over a second-story landing at an apartment complex in the 600 block of North Wedgewood Avenue.

Ortega allegedly threw her 1-year-old son, Jerricho, over the balcony and then jumped headfirst over the railing, according to the Upland Police Department.

Police rendered aid to the toddler and Ortega before finding the baby, 6month-old Ezlynn Xariah Ortega, unresponsive and not breathing inside the suspect’s apartment. The infant was believed to have suffered a skull fracture and other internal injuries. She was taken to a hospital, where she was declared dead. Her cause of death, however, has not been determined.

Ezlynn Ortega is seen in a photo released by Upland police on Feb. 27, 2019.

Ortega’s son suffered a broken foot and lacerations to his head, officials said. Ortega was eventually arrested and booked after being treated at a hospital.

The motive behind the incident remains unclear.

The children’s father was at work when the incident occurred, officials said. He was called to the home and police broke the news to him.

Investigators said there was no history of disturbance calls at the family’s apartment. Neighbors also told KTLA that they had never witnessed any issues there.

Ortega is expected to be arraigned on Friday.

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