Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes Cerritos and Artesia, issued a statement regarding a newborn baby boy found dead in a South El Monte trash can Thursday.
The body of the infant was found about 3:10 p.m. Thursday in the 2600 block of Chico Avenue, said Deputy Peter Gomez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's
Witnesses said the remains were inside a trash bin, according to reports from the scene.
A woman who went to the hospital bleeding profusely broke down and told doctors she had just had a baby and discarded it in the trash in front of her
apartment, ABC7 reported.
"We're trying to figure out several things: how the infant died, if there's any criminal intent on anybody's part, how the infant was placed there, if there's any connection to this home, to whichever parents and who may or may not be culpable depending on the circumstances that we learn after the autopsy,'' Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Leslie told Channel 7 at the scene.
Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives and the Los Angeles County coroner's office were investigating the death, Gomez said.
Knabe said what happened is especially sad because the county has the Safe Surrender program.
“Sadly, the first newborn abandonment of 2013 comes at a time when we are preparing to launch a campaign refresh of our Safe Surrender materials," he said. "The Safe Surrender program was created to give a mother, no matter what the situation, a safe, secure and anonymous way to get her child into safe hands—at any fire station or hospital, any time—and to protect a baby from abandonment: No shame, No blame, and No names."
So far, 107 babies have been surrendered through the program, he said.
Knabe established the program in 2001. A parent or legal guardian can confidentially turn over an infant three days old or younger to any hospital emergency room or fire station in the county. The person surrendering the infant won't be arrested or prosecuted for child abandonment as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, he said.
The multilingual Safe Surrender Hotline, 1-877-BABY-SAFE, is available 24-hours a day for more information and the location of the nearest Safe Surrender site. Safe Surrender sites can also be found by calling the County helpline at 211 or by visiting www.babysafela.org.