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San Francisco Bay Area Violent Crime

Father Accused of Drowning Daughter at Healdsburg Church Sent to Napa State Hospital

A Healdsburg man accused of drowning his daughter in a church baptismal pool will be housed for evaluation at Napa State Hospital until he is mentally competent to participate in the legal proceedings against him. Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, will undergo competency training and could spend up to three years at the hospital.

He agreed in court today to continue taking his medication. Ordaz was arrested and charged with drowning his 4-year-old daughter at St. John the Baptist Church in Healdsburg and willfully inflicting emotional distress on his 9-year-old son on Nov. 20.

The criminal proceedings against him were suspended since his first court hearing on Nov. 22 when, clearly distraught, he cried, “Why did I kill my daughter?” as he was led out of the courtroom. Ordaz was examined by two doctors who determined he was mentally incompetent. Healdsburg police said Ordaz showed up naked and screaming for help in a parking lot behind the Police Department around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 20.

He was carrying his daughter and was with his partially dressed son who was not physically injured, according to police. His daughter was pronounced dead at Healdsburg District Hospital about 90 minutes later. Ordaz was living in unincorporated Sonoma County near Healdsburg with four children and their mother at the time.

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