Employees at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto were stunned Tuesday morning to learn that one of their co-workers, the pregnant mother of two small children, had been killed Monday.
Leticia Chavez, 26, an administrative assistant at a Packard Hospital clinic, was found stabbed to death inside her San Jose home, which had been set afire, according to San Jose Police Officer Enriqua Garcia. A 3-year-old daughter was found dead inside the house, and a 6-year-old daughter later died at a hospital.
San Jose police have arrested Chavez’s live-in boyfriend, Rodrigo Ortiz Paniagua, 28, who was reportedly sitting outside the house when firefighters and police arrived.
Paniagua was the father of the two dead children, Garcia said.
Paniagua has been booked on three counts of murder and the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office could decide to add a fourth murder charge for the dead unborn baby, Garcia said.
“We currently have our counselors working with the staff in dealing with their sadness,” Packard Hospital spokesman Robert Dicks said. “People are still trying to figure out how something so senseless could occur.”
Chavez started working at Packard Hospital in November 2000.