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updated: 9/15/2013 7:12 AM

Ariz. mom suspected of killing 2 kids in Calif.

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  • Two children were killed at the Hampton Inn Suites on Grand and Dyer in Santa Ana said Anthony Bertagn, with the Santa Ana Police Department. The mother of the children allegedly tried to commit suicide by ramming her car into a utility box behind a shopping center in Costa Mesa, Calif., Saturday Sept. 14, 2013.

      Two children were killed at the Hampton Inn Suites on Grand and Dyer in Santa Ana said Anthony Bertagn, with the Santa Ana Police Department. The mother of the children allegedly tried to commit suicide by ramming her car into a utility box behind a shopping center in Costa Mesa, Calif., Saturday Sept. 14, 2013.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- An apparently suicidal Arizona mother was arrested on suspicion of killing her two children after crashing her car in a Southern California supermarket then directing police to a nearby hotel room where the kids lay dead, authorities said.

The 42-year-old woman from Scottsdale, was released from a hospital into police custody on Saturday night, Santa Ana police spokesman Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

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Coroner's officials were investigating the scene late Saturday, and the identities of the mother and two children along with the kids' cause of death were being withheld while relatives were notified, Bertagna said.

Earlier in the day, police in nearby Costa Mesa were called to an Albertsons parking lot where the woman had crashed her gray Honda Accord with a Georgia license plate into protective poles surrounding an electrical box, Costa Mesa police Sgt. Tim Starn said.

Police said the woman appeared to have been suicidal when officers responded to the crash site.

"It was clear that it was an intentional act," Costa Mesa Sgt. Tim Starn said.

As paramedics were taking her to the hospital, the woman told police where to find the children and what had happened to them, Bertagna said, but did not offer more details.

Officers found the children dead in a third-floor room at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Ana.

The cause of death was under investigation, Bertagna said, but no weapon had been recovered from the scene.

It was not clear why the woman and her children were in Orange County.

Hotel guests were stunned at the discovery at the quiet inn on a sunny weekend in Southern California.

"My goodness if there's two children involved that's just horrendous to say the least," Mike Ramey, who was staying at the hotel with his fiancee, told KABC-TV. "As a parent, it's just a heartbreaker."

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