Oakdale girl finds parents, sitter slain in double murder, suicide

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , and PAT PHEIFER
  • Updated: September 16, 2011 - 3:58 PM

Police say they are not pursuing a suspect in the killings.

A 6-year-old girl coming home from school on Thursday found her parents and the family's baby sitter dead in their Oakdale home.

Brady Hartman, a teenager who lives about four houses away, said he was outside when he saw the girl run out of the house sobbing and screaming, "Mommy, daddy dead! Mommy, daddy dead."

Brady's mother, Julie Hartman, said she called 911, then tried to console the little girl, who had blood on her hands.

"She touched her mom," Hartman said. "[She] kept saying, 'Where am I going to live? Where am I going to live?' I'm never going to see my mom and dad again. Can I come over to your house?"

Police aren't searching for a suspect in the killings and there is no threat to public safety, said department spokeswoman Michelle Stark.

On Friday Stark said the case is being treated as a double murder and suicide and that the three people died by gunshot. 

As part of the investigation, police are checking the history of 911 calls from the home, she said.

The girl and her two brothers, ages 3 and 8, were staying with relatives, Stark said.

Relatives who gathered at the cordoned-off scene in the 7600 block of 13th Street, identified the parents as Cynthia Ornelas, 28, and Jaime Vasquez, 38. The baby sitter was identified by family members as Angela Uscanga, 43, who lived with the couple and their three children.

The Rev. Oscar Amparan of Iglesia Apostolica in Minneapolis was the pastor for all three victims. He said Ornelas and Vasquez had a troubled relationship but that they were trying to work out their problems.

Vasquez, he said, had gone to his native Guatemala in December and had just returned to Oakdale on Sunday. Ornelas was running their business, All Seasons Siding and Roofing, while he was gone, relatives said.

Amparan said he had been at the couple's home Monday and Tuesday to counsel them and that he was surprised to see both of them at his church for services on Wednesday.

Of Vasquez, Amparan said, "He said, 'I want to change. I want to be different. I want to be together.'"

Cesar Zagal, 18, of Oakdale, a nephew of Ornelas, said she "was friendly, nice. On the weekends, she would sometimes take me and my mom and my grandmother to restaurants. Me and my grandma would offer to pay and she'd say, 'No, I got it.'"

Yosa Cortez, 15, a niece of Uscanga, said her aunt "was devoted to the church" and knew Ornelas through the church.

"She was very gentle," Cortez said.

On Thursday, neighbors and family members concentrated on consoling the three children.

Kelsie Treague, 16, said that when Brady Hartman first told her what happened, she didn't believe him. Then she saw the 6-year-old girl.

"I immediately gave [her] a big hug," she said. "I didn't ask any questions. She just told me, 'My mommy and daddy are dead and all bloody.'"

Then, Treague said, she saw the 3-year-old appear.

"All of a sudden he came walking toward us," Treague said. She said she specifically heard him say, "Poppy kill mommy."

alonetree@startribune.com • 612-875-0041 ppheifer@startribune.com • 612-673-7252

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