2 children found dead in Southern California hotel room

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Southern California police responded Saturday to a car crash involving an apparently suicidal woman who told them about a hotel where the bodies of two children were later found.

The 42-year-old woman, whom police did not identify, was found by officers after her car struck protective poles surrounding an electric box in the parking lot of a grocery store in Costa Mesa, according to police Sgt. Tim Starn.

The woman had a cord around her neck and was trying to strangle herself with it, Starn said. She also made comments indicating she hoped the car would ignite.

When the woman was removed from the car after struggling with paramedics, she made a reference to an incident at a Santa Ana Hampton Inn, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Santa Ana officers doing a safety check at the hotel found the children. The room was registered to the woman.

It was not clear how long the children were there, Bertagna said, and the manner of their deaths was not known, pending a coroner’s examination.

The relationship between the children and the woman was not immediately known.

The woman was taken to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach for evaluation. Once released, she will be detained for questioning by Santa Ana police, Bertagna said.

The woman’s last known address was listed in San Jose, though the car she was driving had Georgia license plates.