Beth Sprankle, 24, reportedly met Carlos Ortiz over the internet and they had dated for several years. The two had become estranged within the last year and at some point Beth Sprankle had taken out a protection order against him. Beth Sprankle was the mother of two little boys ages 3 and 4, at least one of which is reported as Cortiz’ son. Reportedly the two had had several custody disputes.
About 7:30 am on Friday, Beth Sprankle pulled up at a day care facility to drop her children off and Ortiz pulled in also. He allegedly got out of his car and ran up to her car and shot through the windshield of the car, then shot through the passenger window.
Ortiz then allegedly ran about a block away, cleared a jam in the gun, turned the gun on himself, and shot himself in the head. Reportedly witnesses did see both shootings.
Beth Sprankle was shot in the neck and the head. The boys had been strapped into their seats in the vehicle and were not harmed. The coroner has said that from the boys vantange strapped in their seats that she didn’t think they could see their mother’s wounds. No one at the day care facility were harmed.
According to police Ortiz was carrying 40 rounds of ammunition and was dressed in snow-pattern camoflauge.
I remember those early mornings with young children. Get them up out of bed, keep them moving, get them dressed and prepared to go. The main focus in the morning is to wake, keep moving and leave on time.
Two little children, on the way to day care- something that most kids enjoy. Everything is routine, just like any other work day. They wouldn’t have been aware that their mother’s last thoughts would be about them.
Suddenly there is movement outside the window, a loud noise, and blood. Then the sudden silence. Their mother did not rush to reassure them, they probably were not aware that she couldn’t. Who knows if they had time to recognize Ortiz, hopefully they didn’t.
Three and four year olds don’t have experience with death. And even when it is explained to them, they have trouble understanding that it is final. Yet they will be learning. At 3 and 4, they will have little memory of their mother or Ortiz. They will remember how she looked through pictures, but will not remember the way she smelled, the sound of her voice or the way she smiled. They won’t remember what they lost- but they will know something is missing.