Kathlyn Ogdoc said her family’s outing to the mall last November was like any other: Her father and brother snacked on kebobs and sushi, and she snapped pictures of her daughter Angelyn on a miniature train.
But in a moment things went terribly wrong: She glanced back at her mother, Carmela Dela Rosa, as they were walking across a 44-foot walkway at Tysons Corner Center and noticed she was no longer holding 2-year-old Angelyn.
“Her hands were over” the railing, Ogdoc said, crying. “I said, ‘What just happened?’ ”
Ogdoc took the stand for the prosecution at Dela Rosa’s murder trial Wednesday, choking back tears as she described the events leading up to the death of Angelyn. Dela Rosa is accused of plotting to kill the girl because she hated her son-in-law, James Ogdoc, for getting Kathlyn pregnant out of wedlock.
Dela Rosa has entered a not-guilty plea by reason of insanity.
As Kathlyn Ogdoc, 23, relayed the circumstances of Angelyn’s death on the third day of testimony, Dela Rosa sat with both hands shielding her eyes at the defense table.
After Angelyn plunged over the railing, Ogdoc said she, her brother, David, and father, Leandro, dashed down six flights of stairs to the ground level. A small crowd had gathered near Angelyn, who lay on the pavement.
“There was a guy blocking me,” Ogdoc said. “They wouldn’t let me see her.”
Ogdoc glanced up at her mother, who was still on the walkway above.
“She didn’t have any expression on her face,” Ogdoc said. “She was just leaning over the railing.”
Someone had called an ambulance, which arrived a short time later. Ogdoc said she rode in the front, while paramedics attended to Angelyn in the back.
“I could hear her crying, but not saying anything,” Ogdoc said, sobbing with her head down. Angelyn died at Inova Fairfax Hospital the next morning.
Earlier in her testimony, Ogdoc said her mother blamed James Ogdoc for splitting her from the family and said Dela Rosa was often chilly toward him when he was around. Kathlyn and James Ogdoc were married in June 2008 and Angelyn was born a short time later.
During cross-examination, Fairfax County Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac questioned Ogdoc about her mother’s mental state.
Ogdoc said she noticed a change in her mother after Dela Rosa’s father died in the Philippines, around 2000. Her mother grew more withdrawn and was moodier.
But Ogdoc said her mother’s behavior was the worst she had seen it in the months leading up to Angelyn’s death. Dela Rosa didn’t eat on occasion and tried to commit suicide.
Ogdoc said her mother sometimes told her: “I’m afraid of the world.”