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Body of badly decomposed infant found in Santa Ana

Times Staff Writers

The severely decomposed body of an infant, possibly newborn, was found Monday morning on a concrete patio separating two Santa Ana houses, police said.

“No one really knows how long it’s been dead,” said Cpl. Jose Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.

“The body is so heavily decomposed that they can’t even tell whether it’s a boy or a girl.”

The remains of the full-term infant were found by residents of one of the homes, Gonzalez said. The body was found next to a dog, but it didn’t appear to have been dug up by the animal.

Investigators also found what looked like clothing or blankets nearby.

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“It doesn’t look like it happened in the last day or two,” Gonzalez said.

Police were alerted to the body shortly before 10 a.m. by a caller reporting “suspicious circumstances” in the yard between the front and back houses in the 1600 block of East Palm Street, he said.

The back house, authorities said, fronts an alley in which the body could have been placed.

The dead infant, Gonzalez said, is not believed to be connected to the occupants of either house.

Jesus Vega, 51, who lives in the front house, said he was looking out his kitchen window early Monday morning when he saw the pit bull playing with what appeared to be a yellow sheet, but turned out to be the baby.

“It was a very sad morning,” Vega said, adding that the body may have been dragged in from the alley by the dog. It was unclear who owns the dog.

The infant’s body was taken to the Orange County coroner’s office where an autopsy is planned to determine the cause and time of death.

Police said they are investigating the incident as a suspicious death and treating the area as a crime scene, though it is not yet clear whether a crime had taken place.

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david.haldane@latimes.com

tony.barboza@latimes.com


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