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Police Announce Fund to Aid 2 Orphans


SAN FERNANDO — Saddened by a recent murder-suicide that left two young children orphans, officers at the San Fernando Police Department started a fund Tuesday to help the youngsters.

Bedding, clothing, toys, money and other donations are needed for Manuel Sida Jr., 6, and his 4-year-old sister Guadalupe, who has Down syndrome.

The children were taken in by their aunt and uncle following the Nov. 1 deaths of their parents, said Sgt. Tony Ruelas.

The aunt and uncle, who requested anonymity, are a young couple with a limited income and two small children of their own, Ruelas said. The aunt is also pregnant with a third child, expected within three months.

"They'll have five kids instead of the three that they were planning on, and that's a lot to take on," Ruelas said.

The children's father, Manuel Sida, 28, shot and killed his estranged wife, Irma Melendez, 22, and then turned the gun on himself, police said. The shootings occurred at Melendez's home, a converted garage on Kewen Street, while the children played outside.

"The kids left their home with only the clothes on their backs," Ruelas said.

Donations can be brought to the city's Police Department, which will serve as a liaison between the community and the family, he said. Officers have posted notices for donations throughout San Fernando, including City Hall, churches and convenience stores.

Checks payable to the Sida Children Trust Fund can be mailed to the San Fernando Police Department, c/o Sida Children Trust Fund, 910 1st St., San Fernando 91340.

For more information, contact the station at (818) 898-1256.

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