On Wednesday, a woman was arrested for murder on the Stanford campus. The 22-year-old former CCSC preschool instructor Diana Ornelas appeared in court on Friday, charged with the April 11 slaying of 24-year-old Oliver Waterfall, whose body was discovered along a roadway in Santa Cruz County.
According to the authorities, Waterfall had been dead for close to a month before his body was discovered. In an email to The Daily, university spokesperson Luisa Rapport confirmed that Ornelas “is no longer employed there” as of Friday, despite having worked for CCSC at the time of her detention.
Rapport said the suspected crime “had no connection to the campus community.” The incident occurred outside of the CCSC campus boundaries during a naptime.
The Daily later got a message from CCSC assistant director Rachel Lim and Janet Zamudio telling parents about the arrest, in which they assured them that the incident had not disrupted operations and that no children had been present at the time.
“We are all shocked and distressed by this news because CCSC is a place and community that means so much to all of us,” they continued. Rapport stated that Ornelas was apprehended by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office “with assistance” from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety.
Originally, Ornelas was being held on $1 million bond, but a judge eventually issued a no-bail order for her. The Sheriff’s Office speculates that Waterfall knew both Ornelas and the other man, Dennis Novoa, who was also detained in connection with the murder.
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The arraignment for Ornelas and Novo is set for May 17. According to its website, CCSC is a private nonprofit that serves as the exclusive provider of child care for Stanford University’s students, staff, and faculty. The institution employs more than 50 people and provides services to over 200 kids.
The Sheriff’s Office claimed in their statement that a gunshot wound was what killed Waterfall. Rapport states that Stanford “does not tolerate violence or threats of violence anywhere on campus or in connection with university-sponsored events,” which includes a ban on firearms and ammunition on campus and surrounding land.
The Daily has requested comment from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Public Safety, and Santa Cruz State College.
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