Police arrested the father, Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, on suspicion of murder. Also with the father at the time of his daughter’s death was his 9-year-old son. Police do not know at this time why Ordaz was naked but say his daughter was fully clothed and his son was partially clothed. The three had been together at St. John’s Catholic Church, which leaves its doors open late on Sunday.
It is believed the girl was drowned in the chruch’s baptismal pool, which is one foot deep. Ordaz gave a statement to police, though, they are not saying at this time that he confessed. However, Healdsburg Police Chief Kevin Burke said at a press conference “We cannot disclose a motive at this time, but we determined it was not accidental.” Police searched the home Ordaz shared with the children’s mother and said there was no prior history of domestic violence calls from the family.
St. John’s pastor, Father Sean Rogers, released a statement, saying, “Sunday night there was tragedy in the church; a little girl lost her life. When police finish the investigation we will know more. In the meantime, please pray for the family, and the parish community.”