Florida mother intentionally drives into lake with two young children inside car, killing all 3: police

Authorities in Lakeland, Florida, believe a mother intentionally drove her vehicle into a lake with her two children last week, killing all three.

By the time Lakeland Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene the vehicle was submerged 15 feet from the shore. 

The fire department and dive team began removing the vehicle from the water where they found the body of 35-year-old Ortilla Zamora inside. After the vehicle was fully removed from the water they also found the bodies of Zamora’s two sons, ages 4 and 9, also inside. 

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Preliminary information indicates that this was not a traffic crash, and there were no apparent signs of trauma on any of the people in the vehicle.

Lake Wire, in Lakeland Florida, where 35-year-old Ortilla Zamora killed herself and her two sons by driving her vehicle into the lake.

Lake Wire, in Lakeland Florida, where 35-year-old Ortilla Zamora killed herself and her two sons by driving her vehicle into the lake. (Lake Wire in Lakeland Florida)

“At this point in the investigation, all evidence suggests that the adult female, 35-year-old Ortilla Zamora, intentionally drove her vehicle into Lake Wire on the morning of December 30, 2022,” Lakeland Spokeswoman Robin Tillett said in a press release. “During the investigation, detectives learned from family members that she had possibly been experiencing mental health issues days prior to the event. The mother and two boys are from the Wauchula area, and it is unknown why they were in Lakeland that morning.”

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An autopsy was conducted by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. Additional testing, including toxicology exams, will continue as part of the ongoing investigation.

This remains an open investigation.

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