The Latest: School district mourns students’ deaths
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on the slaying of a Des Moines woman and her two children. (all times local):
The Des Moines Public Schools has issued a statement following the killings of two school-aged children and their mother in Des Moines.
Police say 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, 11-year-old Grecia Daniela Alvarado-Flores and 5-year-old Ever Jose Mejia-Flores were found shot to death Tuesday night at their home, and 31-year-old Marvin Oswaldo Escobar-Orellana has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in their deaths.
The district says Grecia had just completed fifth grade at Moulton Elementary School and Ever would have begun kindergarten there this fall. The statement says school officials’ “hearts are heavy” over the deaths of the three.
A Guatemalan man believed to be in the U.S. illegally has told an Iowa judge that he shot a woman in self-defense after she killed her two children.
The Des Moines Register reports that 31-year-old Marvin Oswaldo Escobar-Orellana asked the judge during an initial court appearance in Des Moines on Thursday why he’s charged with killing 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, when he only killed the mother and in self-defense.
Police, though, say an unidentified witness told investigators that Escobar-Orellana shot Flores-Rodriguez during an argument Tuesday before going inside the family’s condo and shooting the children. Police also say ballistic evidence supports the witness’ account.
Judge Becky Goettsch set Escobar-Orellana’s bond at $3 million cash and assigned the case to the public defender’s office.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official says Escobar-Orellana was deported in 2010 and 2011, and that ICE has filed an immigration detainer and administrative arrest warrant for him.
Authorities say a Guatemalan man charged with killing an Iowa woman and her two children had been deported twice from the U.S. and is believed to be in the country illegally.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday night that 31-year-old Marvin Oswaldo Escobar-Orellana gave Des Moines police a false name, Marvin Esquivel-Lopez.
Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesman, says Escobar-Orellana was deported in 2010 and again in 2011. In 2010, he was convicted of illegal entry into the U.S.
He’s accused of shooting 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Police say he had been living at the family’s home and that they found no evidence that he had a personal relationship with the victims.
Court records don’t list an attorney who might comment on Escobar-Orellana’s behalf.