Criminal complaint lists charges, graphic details in death of Berkeley County 8 year-old

Update 4 pm:

GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. — New details have emerged from a Berkeley County shooting that claimed the life of Eliza Orellana, 8.

A criminal complaint filed in Berkeley County Magistrate Court details the incident began at a Tall Pine Lane home when Julie Orellana, 46, asked Eliza and her sister Olivia, 11, to go upstairs to find kittens stuck under a bed.

“Once inside the bedroom, Olivia Orellana stated her mother began firing a gun striking her in the leg and hitting her sister. Olivia Orellana stated she escaped the bedroom and leapt out an adjacent bedroom window to get help. During the intitial investigation it was discovered that Julie Orellana left the scene in a white Honda SUV, which was found abandoned on Cashew Lane. A search was conducted of 291 Tall Pine Lane where Eliza Orellana was discovered deceased on the living room floor from multiple stab wounds and gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen, neck and back.” -Sgt. W.R. Garrett, WV State Police

In addition to a steak knife and 9 mm pistol, a six page letter was found on Orellana during her arrest detailing her plan. She intended to murder both daughters then take her own life.

Berkeley County Schools released a statement saying they are providing crisis counselors to schools near Gerrardstown.

“Families and school employees are encouraged to seek help provided by the crisis team should they feel the need.┬áThe loss of life and injury to a child is especially hard to understand, and as a school community, we are grieving. Our most sincere condolences are extended to this family and their friends. We thank local law enforcement for their quick response, and for the additional presence in our school communities both before and after the suspect was apprehended.” -Berkeley County Schools

Orellana has been charged with first degree murder and attempted murder in the first degree.

Original 9/21/18 10 am:

GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. — Authorities have confirmed the suspect in a fatal Berkeley County shooting has been arrested.

Julie Orellana

West Virginia State Police Martinsburg detachment Sgt. Cole confirmed to MetroNews affilate WEPM that Julie Orellana was located along Crow Foot Lane thanks to a tip from the public. Troopers responded at around 4 Thursday afternoon after a caller said an 11 year-old girl approached her residence with a gunshot wound to her leg.

“The 11 year-old had stated that she was shot by her mother and that her sister was still at the residence located near where the girl had ran to,” said Cole. “Other responding officers located the suspect’s vehicle abandoned a short distance from the residence. We then responded to the residence of the suspect where we discovered the 8 year-old female was deceased from multiple wounds.”

Sgt. Cole said the 11 year-old is expected recover and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

A motive for the shooting has yet to be revealed.





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