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VALLEY ROUNDUP | San Fernando

Police Taking Donations for Orphaned Siblings

November 16, 1998|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

A week after starting a fund to help an orphaned brother and sister, the Police Department has a room stuffed with donations for the children.

"It's been overwhelming," Sgt. Tony Ruelas said. "It makes you feel good about your job."

An aunt and uncle are now caring for Manuel Sida Jr., 6, and Guadalupe Sida, 4, who has Down syndrome, after the Nov. 1 deaths of their parents. The children's father, Manuel Sida, 28, shot and killed his estranged wife, Irma Melendez, 22, then turned the gun on himself, police said.

At the police station, a room is crammed with boxes and bags of clothes, toys and food, and a twin bed for the children. Officers have also collected more than $1,800 for the family, Ruelas said.

The aunt and uncle, who have requested anonymity, live on a limited income with two small children of their own in a converted garage, police said.

The aunt is pregnant with a third child, which is due in four months. The family especially needs diapers, formula and other baby goods for the upcoming child, Ruelas said. The couple is also looking for a bigger apartment or house to rent, he said. "The kids really need a house," Ruelas said.

People may still bring donations to the police station, or make checks payable to the Sida Children Trust Fund. Checks may be mailed in care of the San Fernando Police Department, 910 1st St., San Fernando, CA 91340. For more information, call the station at (818) 898-1256.

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