REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — A 54-year-old woman has been charged in the slaying of her 3-year-old daughter in East Palo Alto 27 years ago after fleeing to Mexico following the death and then being found last week in Southern California, authorities said.
Yolanda Ortega made her initial court appearance Monday. She is charged with murder and child endangerment for the death of her daughter Yoani Sanchez, who passed away at Stanford Hospital less than an hour after paramedics responded to the family home on June 28, 1993.READ MORE: Man Found Dead In San Jose Home Over Thanksgiving Weekend, Ruled As Homicide
Ortega faces 25 years to life in prison.
San Mateo County prosecutors said that in 1993 while autopsy results were pending on the toddler, Ortega and her husband fled to Mexico, leaving their other three children ages 4, 1 and 17 days old behind. The youngsters were taken in by Child Protective Services.READ MORE: Third Prison Employee Charged With Sexually Abusing Female Inmate At Dublin Facility
The autopsy found evidence of serious child abuse, including recent and older bruising, a fractured rib and strikes with some sort of
object. The cause of death was blunt trauma to the neck and chest, and witnesses said Ortega inflicted the injuries.
After a tip about Ortega’s whereabouts, the U.S. Marshals Service took her into custody as she entered a shopping center in Oxnard in Ventura County on July 7.MORE NEWS: Early Morning Shooting In Oakland Kills Transgender Person; 129th Homicide Of Year
Ortega had was assigned an attorney, but did not enter a plea. She was ordered held on $10 million bail, with her next court date set for July 21, prosecutors said.