False Story of Finding Infant Leads to Arrests of Two

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False Story of Finding Infant Leads to Arrests of TwoThe Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday that it has filed criminal charges against two women who lied to police officers and the public about finding a newborn baby at a gas station. The infant, it was later learned by Long Beach Police Officers, was the child of one of the women.

Paloma Espinoza, 28, was charged with child endangerment and child abandonment, for her role in abandoning her child and fabricating the story that she found the baby in a plastic bag outside a gas station. Sonia Ines Hernandez, 52, who is the mother of Paloma Espinoza, was charged with filing a false police report and obstructing police officers in their investigation. If found guilty of the charges, each woman faces up to two years in County Jail.

“What these women did is outrageous. The fact that they lied to police about the identity of the baby and the facts surrounding its birth is shocking enough, but even worse is the fact that these lies jeopardized the health of a newborn child,” said Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert.

No charges would have been filed if the mother had taken advantage of California’s “Safe Surrender” law, which provides immunity to a parent who surrenders the infant at a hospital or fire station within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.

The infant is reported in stable condition and recovering at a local hospital. “By now, everyone should know about Safe Surrender,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “There is just no reason something like this should happen.”

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