Corona Police found a deceased newborn girl wrapped in plastic bags inside a trash dumpster Tuesday, officials said.
Authorities said they were led to the dumpster by the mother, who told police she thought the baby was stillborn at the time of the birth and decided to throw her away.
The mother, who was not named and has not been charged at this time, showed up at Kaiser Permanente's Riverside Medical Center on Tuesday evening claiming she had been "injured." During an examination, staff came to the conclusion that she had likely recently given birth and called police.
"She denied it," said Kim Velasco, a sergeant with Corona Police. "When officers got to the hospital, she admitted she had the baby early Tuesday morning and believed it was deceased."
Police drove to the mother's apartment complex near the 2200 block of Treemont Place in Corona. There, officers found the newborn clothed in plastic bags in a dumpster. Officers took the stillborn girl to the Riverside coroner, who will perform an autopsy.
Autopsy results will determine whether or not charges will be filed against the mother, Velasco said. Currently, the 24-year-old is not in custody.
The discovery of the stillborn girl comes after three newborns were safely placed in the Los Angeles County Safe Surrender program this year. The program allows parents or legal guardians to confidentially hand over custody of an infant, three days or younger, to any hospital emergency room or fire station in the county. The person surrendering the newborn can do so without fear of arrest as long as the child hasn't been neglected or abused.
Since the program's inception in 2001, 116 babies have been surrendered. Fifty-seven babies have been found dead over the same period, according to Supervisor Don Knabe's office.
"We obviously have more work to do," Knabe spokesman Andrew Veis said.