The mother of a baby whose body was found in a remote area of Yolo County earlier this week has been charged with killing the child, whose disappearance prompted a frantic search in Northern California.
Samantha Green was arrested about noon Saturday and charged with one count of murder in the death of her son, Justice Rees, authorities said. The boy’s body was found Wednesday morning on the south bank of Ridge Crest Slough near Knights Landing in Yolo County.
The child was about 20 days old, according to local media reports.
The charges against Green were announced by Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto at a Saturday morning news conference, according to local media reports.
Prieto declined to say why investigators decided to charge Green, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Investigators are still unclear what happened and how the infant and his mother ended up in the remote, wooded area, he said.
Green and her baby were initially reported missing Monday from Woodland, a town 15 miles northwest of Sacramento and about 10 miles south of where the boy’s body was found.
Green, was spotted about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday near the edge of town “crying and hysterical.” She was transported to a nearby hospital.
Authorities said Green was unfamiliar with the area and wasn’t able to tell deputies where she had been. She was only able to tell deputies that the baby previously had been with her near the slough.
A witness told KTXL-TV in Sacramento that Green had been abducted.
“All she can remember was that she was abducted here in town,” Richard Villasenior said. “She was pretty bruised up and scratched up. She says she’s been out there for about two days.”
Authorities said they found a vehicle connected to Green in a residential area just west of the slough.
Using a helicopter and search dogs, nearly 100 volunteers and deputies searched throughout the night for her child.
The following morning, a search-and-rescue unit found the infant’s body in an area with thick undergrowth.