An eyewitness said she was shocked to see the car take a deliberate u-turn and head toward the lake.
Trigger warning: This article contains graphic descriptions and, themes of grief and suicide that some readers may find distressing
The Lakeland Police Department reported a tragic accident that involved the death of a woman and her two children. The mother and her two children were found dead in a drowned car in Lakeland. The woman was named Ortilla Zamora and hailed from Wauchula and as per IndependentNewsForLakeland. She was believed to be mentally ill. Officers went to Lake Wire at 5.25 a.m. after hearing reports of the submerged car to conduct an investigation into the matter. In order to help remove and search the car, the Lakeland Fire Department and Dive Team were also called to the scene, ABCnews reported.
We're hearing from an eyewitness after a mother and her 2 young sons were found dead in submerged car in #LakeWire in #Lakeland. The eyewitness, who called @LakelandPD, says the car made a "deliberate" turn into the downtown lake. Details: https://t.co/ON79BRp7Te @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/TpG8QuHhne— Chad K. Mills (@ChadKMills) December 31, 2022
The front driver's side window was down when the search team began looking for the submerged car, and at least one adult was discovered inside, based on the Lakeland Police reports. Sadly, when the car was pulled out of the lake, two kids were also found inside. A preliminary investigation stated that there was no evidence suggesting an accident. They said all evidence pointed to it being done on purpose. No one inside the submerged car displayed any signs of trauma. The police revealed that the people found in the car were a 35-year-old woman and her two sons, aged four and nine years old. Police are still investigating how and why the vehicle ended up in the lake. Eyewitness Kim Seaboldt, who was present at the scene and claims to have seen the incident while driving to work.
@LakelandPD releases the identity of the woman who killed herself and her two young sons. They just don't know why she did it. If you're experiencing a mental health issue, please call the national mental health hotline at 988.@NMHC https://t.co/WBDzYNdFqW— KimberlyMoore (@KMooreTheLedger) January 5, 2023
The witness Kim Seaboldt said, "There weren’t a lot of cars on the road. It was maybe me, and I only saw like two other cars. I see a car in front of me doing a u-turn at Lake Wire (Drive). As I’m going south, they turn around and go north.” The witness says it looked like the driver in the car took an intentional turn. She said "the car made a "deliberate" right turn off Sikes Blvd. and into the lake." She further added "I thought for a second, maybe they just decided to park there to look at the view. But then, I didn’t see any braking or anything going on."
Ortilla Zamora, 35, died in the incident, as did her sons, ages 4 and 9, the Lakeland Police Department said in an update Thursday. https://t.co/a3h4qn0CUN— The Ledger (@theledger) January 5, 2023
Seaboldt isn't a strong swimmer so she called 911, reports suggest. She was shocked to see the incident. As the witness recalled the incident, she couldn't believe that she witnessed such a heartbreaking incident. Seaboldt said, "I told them, ‘I believe I just saw a car go into the water, because I’d never, you know — I was like, ‘Man, it’s early in the morning. Am I really seeing this?’ You know." The lake wire isn't the same for the witness anymore. The witness said she feels sad when she looks at the lake now. Recalling how she felt about it before she said, "My husband and I like to go fishing a lot, and as I’m looking at the lake, usually, I’m like, ‘Man, I want to be out there on the water.’ And today, it’s a different feeling. You know, I feel sad when I look at the lake now."
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Fox 13 Tampa Bay