Mom Tells Her 2 Girls To Look For Kittens Under the Bed Before Shooting Them Both

Eliza and Olivia Orellana

A trial is under way for a West Virginia mother who allegedly shot and stabbed her two young daughters in 2018, killing one of them and injuring the other. On February 4, 47-year-old Julie Orellana appeared before a courtroom, where a jury will soon hear her case and decide her fate.

  • The incident happened at the mother's home September 20, 2018.

    West Police State police arrived at the home after a neighbor dialed 911 and reported hearing shots fired, according to People. Orellana's 11-year-old daughter, Olivia, had managed to escape, despite bleeding from a gunshot wound to her leg, and made it to the neighbor's house for help.

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  • According to police, the mom had lured the girls to an upstairs room in the home, telling them that kittens were stuck under their bed.

    Once all three reached the bedroom, Orellana allegedly opened fire on both of her daughters and at some point stabbed at least one of them. Eight-year-old Eliza was fatally wounded in the attack, though Olivia managed to crawl out the window to seek help. 

    Their mother, meanwhile, fled the scene in an SUV after firing at her daughters, and eventually ditched the vehicle.

  • When police arrived at the home, they found Eliza on the floor with multiple stab and gunshot wounds to her neck, chest, back, and abdomen.

    The Journal reported that the mom was found about 7:55 a.m. when a resident spotted her and reported her to police. When police reached Orellana, they found a steak knife, a Taurus 9mm automatic pistol, and a “blood stained, six-page letter” that detailed the mom's reasons for her actions.

    Once she was in police custody, Orellana told police that she had intended to kill her daughters and then take her own life.

  • Initially, Orellana was held on charges of murder, attempted murder, malicious assault, and use of a firearm.

    But on January 9, Orellana plead guilty to murder and attempted murder counts, People reported. A jury will decide whether she should be granted leniency after her plea, and only charge her for one count of murder and attempted murder.

    Circuit Judge Michael Lorensen will also task the jury with deciding whether Orellana can receive parole after 15 years behind bars or if she should get life.

    A GoFundMe page has been created on behalf of Eliza and Olivia's father Ed, in hopes of providing financial support in the wake of the tragedy.