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Mother charged with murder in daughter's bathtub drowning

February 17, 2012 |  2:36 pm

Mother Lorna Valley was arrested on suspicion of trying to drown her two daughters, the LAPD said.A South Los Angeles mother was charged Friday with murder and attempted murder for allegedly drowning her 1-year-old daughter and trying to kill the infant's 5-year-old sister in a baby bathtub.

Lorna Valle, 32, allegedly shoved her daughters face-first into a tub in their home Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Valle's younger daughter, Lindsay, died after being rushed to a hospital while the older daughter, Marian, remains in a coma at Children's Hospital L.A., prosecutors said. Earlier reports incorrectly stated that the older daughter was 4.

Valle's husband told authorities he found the children unclothed, wet and unresponsive on the floor.

The mother, who police said may have a history of mental illness, was taken into custody earlier in the day for questioning by LAPD detectives.

"I don't know what made her snap," said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Pat Gannon. The mother has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Firefighters arrived at the home in the 900 block of West 50th Street about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and found the girls unconscious and unresponsive. The rescuers said they tried to resuscitate the girls and rushed them to a hospital.

Neighbor Dina Ceballos, 46, said she saw the two little girls being carried out by the firefighters. Both were limp and colorless, she said.

Hours later, she said she was still shaken and feeling ill and couldn't get the image of the girls being carried away out of her memory.

"It broke my heart to see those girls," Ceballos said.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Lorna Valle with her two daughters. Credit: Handout / KTLA-TV Channel 5