Authorities say a Northern California man has been charged with murder in connection with the drowning of his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool at a church last weekend.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports ( ) 42-year-old Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz appeared in Sonoma County court Tuesday afternoon and was formally charged with murder and felony child abuse involving the death at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church.

Judge Arthur Wick ordered a psychologist to evaluate the mental state of Ordaz after his lawyer raised doubts about the man’s competency.

Ordaz is scheduled to return to court Monday where Wick will decide if he is fit for further court proceedings. Police have not released a motive in the death of Maria Jose Ordaz-Chavarria.


This story has been corrected to give the full name of the suspect.


Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat,