LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – On Dec. 30, Lakeland authorities began investigating the deaths of two young children and a woman whose bodies were found in a submerged vehicle.
According to the Lakeland Police Department, officials were dispatched to Lake Wire for reports of a submerged vehicle around 5:30 a.m. When officers arrived on the scene, a vehicle was found submerged in the water about 15 feet from the shoreline.
As police worked to remove the vehicle from the lake, divers noticed at least one adult inside. It was later revealed that a 35-year-old mother and her two sons, ages 4 and 9 were inside the submerged vehicle.
On Thursday morning, police determined that all evidence suggests the mother, Ortilla Zamora, 35, intentionally drove her vehicle into the Lake Wire.
During the investigation, detectives learned from family members that she had possibly been experiencing mental health issues days before the accident.
According to police, the mother and two young boys are from the Wauchula area. It’s unknown why they were in Lakeland that morning.
An autopsy was conducted by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday. The Lakeland Police Department stated that additional testing, including toxicology exams, will be conducted as the investigation continues.
At this time, the investigation remains ongoing.