Preschool teacher arrested during NAPTIME on murder charge as she continued to educate toddlers for weeks after a man was shot dead and left along a California hillside
- Diana Ornelas was arrested at a Stanford University preschool Wednesday
- She was alleged to have been involved in a fatal shooting nearly two months ago
- Also arrested was Dennis Novoa – both were charged with first-degree murder
A preschool teacher was arrested while her students were napping for her alleged involvement in the fatal shooting of a man found dead by a California hillside earlier this month.
Diana Ornelas, 22, was arrested on Wednesday around 3pm for the murder of Oliver Waterfall, 24, and appeared in court on Friday. She was charged with first-degree murder.
She was arrested on the same day as Dennis Novoa, 27, also charged with murder in connection to Waterfall’s death.
Ornelas continued to educate the toddlers for nearly two months after the alleged killing. Sheriff’s deputies say Waterfall’s remains were found in April along a hillside in California, but he had been killed a month earlier.
She was a teacher at the Children’s Center of the Stanford Community, which offers childcare for children of Stanford University students, staff and faculty aged between 8 weeks to 5 years old.
Diana Ornelas (pictured left), 22, was arrested from a preschool for children of Stanford faculty, staff and students Wednesday for her involvement in the murder of Oliver Waterfall. On the same day Dennis Novoa (pictured right), 27, also arrested and charged with murder in connection to Waterfall’s death
Ornelas was a teacher at the Children’s Center of the Stanford Community (pictured), which offers childcare for children of Stanford University students, staff, and faculty aged between 8 weeks to 5 years
On April 11, 24-year-old Oliver Waterfall of San Jose (pictured) was found with a gunshot wound to the head down a hillside in the Santa Cruz mountains
Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies said both Ornelas and Novoa knew Waterfall and that the motive for his murder was ‘personal’, but did not clarify their suspected roles.
Waterfall posted a photo to Facebook in February of a flowering cannabis plant and mentioned Novoa.
‘Shoutout to the homie Dennis Novoa for teaching me how to grow,’ wrote Waterfall.
Other photos on his page are of psychedelic paraphernalia, bundles of cash and in one, a handgun is visible.
Sheriff’s deputies say Waterfall had been dead for almost a month before his body was found ‘down a hillside of Highway 9’.
‘The arrest happened at naptime, and outside of the perimeter of the CCSC campus,’ the school wrote in a message informing parents about the arrest, which was obtained by The Stanford Daily.
Sheriff’s deputies say Waterfall had been dead for almost a month before his body was found earlier in April
Children’s Center of the Stanford Community said children were not present when Ornelas was arrested Wednesday afternoon because they were napping
‘Children were not present when this occurred, and it did not disrupt operations,’ it added.’ We are all shocked and distressed by this news because CCSC is a place and community that means so much to all of us.’
A spokesperson said in a statement the ‘event that led to the arrest did not have a connection to the campus community.’
Ornelas was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder without bail, Santa Cruz jail inmate records show. Novoa was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and his bail was set at $1 million.
The duo is expected to be arraigned May 17, according to Santa Cruz jail records.