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California man suspected of drowning 4-year-old daughter in church baptismal pool

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Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42.

HEALDSBURG, Calif. — A California father was arrested after he allegedly drowned his 4-year-old daughter in a church’s baptismal pool.

At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police say 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz was discovered naked outside the Healdsburg police station, according to CBS SF. He was screaming for help and holding his unresponsive daughter in his arms. His 9-year-old partially clothed son stood beside him, police say.

The girl was rushed to a local hospital but did not survive. The boy did not appear to be injured.

Ordaz and his two children had been at St. John’s Catholic Church, where police believe the father drowned his daughter in a baptismal pool. An autopsy has been scheduled to confirm a cause of death.

“We believe the 4-year-old girl drowned, the father is responsible, and it occurred inside the church in the baptismal pool,” said Healdsburg Police Chief Kevin Burke.

Police say they cannot disclose a motive but have determined it was not accidental.

Ordaz was arrested for homicide and the investigation is ongoing.

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