Second doctor appointed to examine father charged with drowning daughter

A second doctor was appointed this morning in Sonoma County Superior Court to determine the mental competence of a Healdsburg-area man who is charged with the drowning death of his daughter earlier this month.

Criminal proceedings against Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, remain suspended until a Dec. 29 hearing on the results of the second exam.

Judge Julie Conger issued a restraining order prohibiting Ordaz from contacting his wife and 9-year-old son. Ordaz is being held under no bail in Sonoma County Jail.

Ordaz is charged with the drowning murder of his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal pool at St. John the Baptist Church in Healdsburg and willful infliction of emotional distress on the 9-year-old boy. He also is charged with assault on his daughter causing death.

Healdsburg police arrested him on Nov. 20 when he showed up naked, screaming and crying for help while holding his daughter around 8:30 p.m. in a parking lot behind the Healdsburg Police Department, which is located on Center Street near the church.

The girl was taken to Healdsburg District Hospital and was pronounced dead 90 minutes later. The boy, who was partially clothed, was not physically injured, police said.

Ordaz was clearly distraught at his first court appearance last Tuesday, but was more composed this morning until he was taken back to the inmate holding area from the courtroom.

Ordaz could be heard screaming and crying in Spanish. A relative of Ordaz and two young women who were in the courtroom said he cried, "Why did I kill my daughter?"