A Santa Ana woman has been charged with attempted kidnapping after police said she posed as a social worker and tried to take a mother’s newborn baby, authorities said.
Sara Orozco Magana, 38, was charged with one felony count of attempting to kidnap a child under 14 and one felony count of attempting to take a minor from a parent, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Police said that on June 7, Magana knocked on the door of the new mother’s home, identified herself as a social worker and said she was there to take the woman’s 1-week-old son.
According to a news release, Magana told the mother that a doctor had probably reported abuse of the child, prompting her visit. The mother asked for the woman’s identification, which Magana refused to provide.
KABC-TV reported that Magana gave her name as Mayella Ortega. In an interview with the station, the mother — who did not want to be named — said Magana threatened to call sheriff’s officials if she did not turn over the baby.
“I said, ‘OK, if the sheriff has to come in, it’s fine, but I’m not going to give you my kid,’” the woman said in the interview.
The mother’s sister recorded video of Magana as she left the home. The district attorney’s office said Magana turned herself in to authorities a day later, after seeing the video on the news. She was released from jail on June 10 after posting $100,000 bond.
Magana is scheduled to appear in court Monday. If convicted, she faces up to 7½ years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
The Santa Ana Police Department said detectives were working with agencies in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties to investigate other potential cases. Neither sheriff’s department was immediately available for comment.