SAN PABLO (CBS SF) — Prosecutors Thursday charged a Richmond mother of three and her boyfriend with murdering her estranged husband and abducting their three children from his San Pablo home.
Alicia Ortez, 35, and Amador Ortiz, 30, were charged with murder and use of a firearm in connection with the killing of 43-year-old Oscar Anguiano and with taking the children from their lawful custodial parent. Ortez was also charged with methamphetamine possession and Ortiz was charged with auto theft, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox said.
The charges come three days after Anguiano’s body was found in the backyard of a San Pablo home and his children and wife were nowhere to be found, prompting a statewide Amber Alert.
According to Knox, Ortiz stole a car and armed himself with a shotgun Sunday night and drove with Ortez to her estranged husband’s home, where the three children she shared with the victim, ages 12, 6 and 3, were also living.
Ortiz shot and killed Anguiano around 11 p.m. and he and Ortez took the kids to Richmond, according to police and prosecutors. Knox said investigators have not determined whether Ortez also shot her husband.
Officers responded Monday morning to reports of a dead body in the rear yard of a home in the 1600 block of 16th Street, where they found Anguiano.
Hours after the CHP issued a statewide Amber Alert for Ortez and the children police located all four with Ortiz at a home in Richmond.
The couple was arrested and taken to county jail in Martinez, where both are being held on $1 million bail.
Court records show that a bitter custody battle and Ortez’s claims of physical abuse at the hands of her husband preceded the slaying. A judge last fall granted a temporary restraining order requiring Anguiano to stay at least 100 yards away from Ortez.
The couple was granted joint custody of the children, with Anguiano ordered to stay in the car when he picked them up or dropped them off with Ortez in Richmond.
In April, Anguiano petitioned the court for sole custody of the children, saying that his wife wasn’t following the custody arrangement and that the children were already staying with him most of the time since his wife failed to look after them.
“I need sole legal and physical custody because I cannot depend on her to take care of the children,” he wrote. “I am going to arrange for childcare so I can get to work on time and support my family.”
According to Knox, Anguiano had full custody of the children at the time of his murder due to Ortez’s substance abuse issues.
“She had limited visitation with the children,” Knox said.
Days before the murder, Ortez told acquaintances that she would kill herself and the children if she could not regain custody of them, the prosecutor said.
Knox said Anguiano was a hard-working father who arranged childcare for the three children while he went to work.
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