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A teacher has arrested for the death of a 27-year-old man in Santa Cruz County. diegoparra/Pixabay


  • The woman was arrested after a man's dead body was found along a Santa Cruz County highway
  • The preschool teacher was fired from her job following the arrest Wednesday
  • Officials said the arrest happened "outside of the perimeter" of the Children's Center of the Stanford Community campus

A 22-year-old now-former preschool teacher at Stanford University was arrested Wednesday in connection with the murder of a 24-year-old man.

Diana Ornelas, of Santa Clara, California, was nabbed as her students at the Children's Center of the Stanford Community (CCSC), the daycare center at the California college, were napping, officials said.

"The arrest happened at naptime, and outside of the perimeter of the CCSC campus. Children were not present when this occurred, and it did not disrupt operations," CCSC assistant director Rachel Lim and Janet Zamudio said in a letter to parents that was later obtained by Stanford Daily. "We are all shocked and distressed by this news because CCSC is a place and community that means so much to all of us."

Ornelas was one of two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Oliver Waterfall. The body of the 24-year-old man was found along a highway in Santa Cruz County on April 11.

Waterfall had been dead for almost a month when his body was discovered, police said.

An autopsy found that Waterfall had died from a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide.

In an email to Stanford Daily, university spokesperson Luisa Rapport confirmed that Ornelas was terminated from her job following her arrest.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office suspects that Ornelas was friends with both the victim and Dennis Novoa, 27 — who was also arrested and charged in connection with Waterfall's death.

"The motive of the homicide is believed to be of a personal nature," the sheriff's office said.

Ornelas was ordered held without bail. She and Novoa are set to be arraigned on May 17.

In other news, a man was killed in a shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday, WOKV reported.

Officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office who responded to the Magnolia Gardens neighborhood at 5700 Begonia Road Sunday afternoon found a deceased adult male with a gunshot wound. The victim's identity has yet to be released.

Initial investigations indicated that the victim was shot during an altercation. Authorities believed that all parties involved are accounted for and that this was an isolated incident.

Detectives are in the process of interviewing various individuals to get an accurate account of the incident.

The JSO is urging anyone with information related to the case to contact them at 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

A preschool teacher has been fired after she was arrested in connection with the death of Oliver Waterfall. pixabay