RIVERSIDE – A 22-year-old homeless woman and her male partner are under investigation for allegedly burying a newborn who died in their care near Riverside Municipal Airport, authorities said Friday, Jan. 6.
The two transients, whose identities were not released, have not been arrested but are at a location where detectives can easily find them, according to Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback.
He said the police department’s Child Abuse Unit was alerted to the infant’s death Wednesday by Riverside County Child Protective Services, whose case workers interviewed the woman at a hospital, after she had given birth to a second child.
The mother admitted delivering her first child at a homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River bottom a year earlier, according to Railsback.
She told CPS personnel that the infant was stillborn or died immediately after she delivered it, Railsback said. “The mother claimed she and the father buried the deceased baby … in an open field along the 5800 block of Central Avenue, directly behind Riverside Municipal Airport,” the officer said.
With the help of the Riverside Fire Department’s search-and-rescue canine, investigators uncovered the newborn’s remains Thursday night, Railsback said.
“Any details as to cause or approximate date of death are pending the coroner’s investigation,” he said.
The woman and her partner – the deceased child’s father – were placed in a temporary shelter with the help of the city. The county took custody of the second child.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Riverside Police Detective Karla Beler at (951) 353-7125.