NewsNational NewsScripps News


California preschool teacher arrested during naptime for murder

A preschool teacher was arrested for the murder of a 24-year-old man whose body was found off the hillside of a California highway.
California preschool teacher arrested during naptime for murder
Posted at 11:40 AM, May 01, 2023

A preschool teacher working at the Stanford University campus in California was arrested for murder last week.

Twenty-two-year-old Diana Ornelas of the Children's Center of the Stanford Community (CCSC) was arrested for the murder of 24-year-old Oliver Waterfall, whose body was found off the hillside of a highway in Santa Cruz, California, on April 11, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office

Ornelas' friend Dennis Novoa was also arrested in Waterfall’s murder. The sheriff's office said Ornelas and Novoa knew the victim. 

Police said that Waterfall had been dead for at least a month before his body was found, according to The Stanford Daily, the school’s paper. 

An autopsy determined Waterfall’s cause of death to be a gunshot wound and ruled his death a homicide. Detectives have been conducting interviews and reviewing surveillance footage over the past week. 

"The motive of the homicide is believed to be of a personal nature," the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said.

While Ornelas was employed at CCSC at the time of her arrest, she has since been terminated, University spokesperson Luisa Rapport told Scripps News.

"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," read a letter to parents obtained by Scripps News.

"The arrest resulted from an incident that was in no relation to CCSC or Stanford University, and CCSC knew nothing of the arrest before the officers arrived," the message continued.

Reports say both Ornelas and Novoa are being held without bail. They are expected to be arraigned on May 17, according to The Daily. 

Trending stories at