Mother charged in death of baby; for allegedly tossing son from balcony before jumping herself

A mother has been arrested for allegedly throwing her 1-year-old son from a two-story balcony Tuesday at an apartment building in Upland. That same mother faces a charge for assaulting a child, resulting in death after investigators found an unresponsive baby inside the apartment, who later died at the hospital, authorities said.

"This is very unusual. It's extremely tragic," Upland police Capt. Marcelo Blanco said.

Officers were called around 11 a.m. to the 600 block of North Wedgewood Avenue after receiving a call that reported that a child was crying. When they arrived at the apartment, they found the 1-year-old boy in front of the building. Moments later, police said that the mother, 24-year-old Tierra Rose Ortega, jumped from the second story balcony. She landed head first, according to the Upland Police Department.

As officers provided first aid to mother and baby, additional officers searched the apartment and located a 6-month-old girl who was not breathing and unresponsive inside, police said. The infant reportedly was suffering from some sort of head trauma.

All three were taken to the hospital. The 6-month-old died at the hospital, police said. She was later identified as Ezlynn Xariah Ortega. The 1-year-old boy is reportedly in stable condition. Authorities said he fell about 12 to 15 feet, suffering a broken foot.

On Thursday, the office of District Attorney Jason Anderson charged Ortega with assault on a child, causing death and attempted murder with an allegation of great bodily injury as it relates to the surviving toddler.

Ortega will be arraigned on Thursday, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

Detectives are still working to establish a motive for this tragic event, police said.