Gilroy woman charged with murder in daughter’s drowning

A Gilroy woman accused of drowning her daughter told police she “just snapped” before killing the 2-year-old child, according to court records.

Marcie Montelongo, 35, was formally charged Wednesday with murder and felony assault on a child in relation to the Nov. 3 death of her daughter. She did not enter a plea at her Nov. 6 arraignment at the San Jose Hall of Justice, and remains in custody with no bail, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci.

The Gilroy Police Department’s “statement of facts” regarding Montelongo’s arrest says the mother called police about 11:27am Nov. 3 to report she had drowned her toddler daughter in the bathtub about an hour earlier. Montelongo allegedly told a police dispatcher on the phone that she “just snapped” as her daughter was giving her “a hard time,” reads the statement of facts, which the DA’s office submitted to the court for the Nov. 7 arraignment.

Montelongo also apologized to the police dispatcher, and provided the address of her home where she drowned the child, according to police. Reporting the crime from a gas station about a mile from her home, Montelongo also told police that she had considered fleeing but ultimately decided to turn herself in.

Based on Montelongo’s phone call reporting the drowning, Gilroy Police officers responded to her apartment on the 7900 block of Westwood Drive about 11:35am Nov. 3, according to police. Officers made entry to the apartment to provide aid to the drowned child. An officer found the toddler partially face down in the bathtub, which was full of water.

The child was unconscious and not breathing, according to police. Officers and responding medics attempted to revive the child, who was later pronounced dead at Saint Louise Regional Hospital.

Additional Gilroy Police officers contacted Montelongo in person at Gilroy City Gas, on the corner of Miller Avenue and First Street. She told officers she wanted to surrender to police for “killing her baby,” reads the police statement of facts. Montelongo was arrested and transported to Gilroy Police Department for booking. She remains in custody at Santa Clara County Jail.

Police later obtained a search warrant for the Westwood Drive apartment. The bathtub had been filled with water to just below the overflow drain, police said. Detectives also found blood spatter in the bedroom, which Montelongo apparently shared with her daughter.

The Gilroy Police statement of facts notes that video footage and other evidence factored into the officers’ decision to arrest Montelongo.

If convicted as charged, Montelongo faces a prison sentence of 25 years to life, Kianerci said. Montelongo is next scheduled to appear in court Jan. 9, 2020 for a plea hearing.