HEALDSBURG (KRON) — A Healdsburg father has been arrested for allegedly drowning his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool at a Catholic church, police announced Monday.
Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, was heard yelling for police in the back lot of the Healdsburg Police Department at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police said.
Officers responded and found Ordaz naked and holding the unresponsive girl, police said.
Medical responders gave her CPR. She was then taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Officers learned that Ordaz was with his daughter and his 9-year-old son at St. John’s Catholic Church located at 208 W. Matheson St. before he was heard yelling at the police department.
The girl was taken to Healdsburg District Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
An autopsy will determine the cause of the girl’s death, but investigators believe she drowned in a baptismal pool.
“We believe the 4-year-old girl drowned, the father is responsible, and it occurred inside the church in the baptismal pool,” Burke said.
The 4 year old girl was clothed and the other 9 year old child was partially clothed.
Police will not confirm if the suspect has confessed.
Father Sean Rogers, who is the pastor of the church where the 4-year-old girl died, released a statement regarding the incident.
“Sunday night there was tragedy in the church; a little girl lost her life,” Rogers said in a statement. “When police finish the investigation we will know more. In the meantime, please pray for the family, and the parish community.”
Ordaz was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of murder. He will appear in court Tuesday afternoon.