Update on Monday's Amber Alert Arrested Mother, Murdered San Pablo Father

Father killed after child-custody battle with estranged wife, alleged physical abuse, according to court documents.

Alicia Ortez from San Pablo-Richmond area. Photo: CHP.
Alicia Ortez from San Pablo-Richmond area. Photo: CHP.
Months of child custody battles, a restraining order and domestic violence allegations preceded a Richmond woman's murder of her estranged husband in San Pablo and the brief abduction of the couple's three children on Monday, according to police and court documents.

Police found the children, ages 3, 6 and 12 with their mother, 35-year-old Alicia Ortez, at a home in Richmond late Monday night, hours after their father, 43-year-old Oscar Armando Anguiano, was found shot to death in San Pablo that morning.

A statewide Amber Alert had been issued for the three children Monday afternoon after police were unable to locate them or their mother.

Ortez and a male companion whom police have still not named were arrested in connection with the murder and the three children were turned over to Child Protective Services, according to San Pablo police Cmdr. Jeff Palmieri.

The mother of three was taken to Contra Costa County jail in Martinez, where she is being held on $1 million bail.

[Previous: UPDATE: 3 Children Missing From San Pablo Found Safe; Mother Arrested.]

Court records show that she and Anguiano, who were still married but lived apart, had been involved in a bitter custody dispute for months and that Ortez feared for her life, claiming that her husband had physically abused her for years and that she still bore marks on her body to prove it.

"Respondent was very aggressive and hit me on my head and threw me to the floor," Ortez wrote in court documents about an alleged incident last November.

"This person has constantly abused me since 2002. I fear for my life...I am very scared. This person mentioned to me that he had a gun," she wrote.

Ortez also alleged that Anguiano had threatened to kill her in the past and that police had responded to domestic violence incidents at their home before.

Judge Christopher Bowen granted a temporary restraining order against Anguiano requiring him to stay at least 100 yards away from his wife at all times.

The couple were granted joint custody of the children and Anguiano was required to remain in the car when he picked them up or dropped them off at Ortez' home in Richmond, according to court records.

After the judge extended the restraining order in December, Ortez filed a declaration saying that Anguiano had only picked up their children once and did not provide money for rent or childcare.

In February, Bowen granted another extension of the restraining order and ordered counseling for Ortez and her children as well as a child support review.

Two months later, Anguiano filed a petition to gain sole custody of his children, saying that Ortez was not taking care of them and that she had moved into a hotel.

In the petition, he said the children were staying with him every night and that their mother was hours late to pick them up in the mornings.

Her lateness had caused him to be late to work, he said.

"I need sole legal and physical custody because I cannot depend on her to take care of the children," he wrote. "I am going to arrange for childcare so I can get to work on time and support my family."

The couple failed to appear in court in Martinez for another custody hearing on May 15, and were scheduled to appear again next month.
--Bay City News


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