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Mom charged with abandoning baby in Compton was under stress, hid pregnancy

Authorities identified the mother of a baby who was found buried alive near a Compton bike path.

A 33-year-old Compton woman has been charged with attempted murder after her baby was abandoned in a concrete crevice last week, police announced Monday.

Porche Laronda Washington was arrested in Compton on Thursday after her baby girl was found buried under several slabs of asphalt on a bike path near 136th Street and Slate Avenue, according to Sgt. Richard Ruiz of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Bureau.

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Sheriff's deputies found the baby Nov. 27 after neighbors heard the child crying. The baby had been left there for several hours, and remains hospitalized in good condition, Ruiz said.

Washington, who had hidden her pregnancy from friends and family, gave birth to the child at an area hospital Nov. 23, according to Ruiz. She was released from the hospital with the child on Thanksgiving and returned home. Sheriff's investigators believe she abandoned the child the next morning.

"Basically she was stressed. She did not want to deliver the baby at first," Ruiz said. "She was afraid."

Washington, who is being held in lieu of $500,000, will be arraigned on attempted murder and child abandonment charges in Compton at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The child was the fourth abandoned baby found in Los Angeles County this year. All have survived, according to Deanne Tilton Durfee, the executive director of the Interagency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.

The number of children abandoned in the county, as well as the number of children who died as a result of abandonment, has declined in recent years and advocates credit the county's "Safe Surrender" program, which allows mothers to hand their children over to authorities without criminal penalties.

Ruiz would not say if Washington was aware of the program. Police identified Washington through hospital records less than a week after the child was found.

The baby will be placed in a home through the Department of Children and Family Services once she is released from the hospital, Ruiz said.

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