Martinsburg, WV – The wife of a veteran Fairfax County police officer has been arrested for the murder of the couple’s eight-year-old daughter, in an attack that also left their elder daughter with a gunshot wound to her leg.
Julie Ann Orellana, 46, was arrested on charges of attempted murder and first-degree murder, The Journal reported.
Her husband, Fairfax County Police Officer Edward Orellana, “was at work…protecting the community” when the savage attack occurred, according to a fundraising page established to assist the officer and his surviving daughter.
Officers responded to a residence on Tall Pine Lane at approximately 4:08 p.m. on Thursday, after receiving a call that 11-year-old Olivia Orellana had been shot by her mother, The Journal reported.
When Olivia and her sister, eight-year-old Eliza Orellana, arrived home from school that afternoon, Julie told them to go to an upstairs bedroom to retrieve some kittens that were stuck under a bed, Olivia told police.
The girls went up to the bedroom, at which point Julie began shooting at them, hitting both children, Olivia explained.
Olivia, who was struck in the leg by a bullet, was able to run to a nearby room and jumped out of a window. She then managed to get help from a neighbor, who contacted police.
Investigators found Eliza “deceased on the living room floor from multiple stab wounds and gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen, neck and back,” West Virginia State Police Sergeant W. R. Garrett said, according to the Metro News.
Police recovered spent shell casings and multiple unfired 9mm rounds throughout the family’s home, The Journal reported.
Sgt. Garrett said that Julie fled the scene in a white Honda SUV prior to the officers’ arrival, according to the Metro News.
The vehicle was later found abandoned on Cashew Lane, prompting a search of the surrounding forested area.
Multiple law enforcement agencies scoured the woods for approximately 16 hours before they apprehended Julie just before 8 a.m. on Friday, The Journal reported.
Police said she was carrying a Taurus 9mm handgun, a steak knife, and a “blood stained, six-page letter,” at the time of her arrest, according to The Journal.
The letter allegedly outlined Julie’s reason for the attack on her daughters, and she ultimately confessed that she planned to kill herself after she murdered both of her children, police said.
Julie also had what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds on her body, although investigators did not provide further information with regards to the severity of her injuries, The Winchester Star reported.
She was transported to the Eastern Regional Jail, where she is being held without bond, The Journal reported.
According to The Winchester Star, Julie was employed as a residential instructor for children with autism and other disabilities at a school in Berryville.
Officer Orellana is a 19-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, according to the fundraising page.