A mother suspected of burying alive her newborn daughter near Compton Creek was charged Monday with attempted murder and child abuse.
Porche Laronda Washington, 33, who was arrested Thursday, appeared in a Compton courtroom and pleaded not guilty to both counts. Bail was set at $1 million, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Washington was ordered to return to court on Jan. 6, at which time a date will be set for a preliminary hearing that will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, Washington faces up to life in prison.
On Nov. 27, the Compton Sheriff’s Station received reports of a baby crying in the riverbed between 136th Street and Slater Avenue, Sgt. Bob Boese said. Responding deputies found the infant buried alive under pieces of asphalt and rubble inside a crevice along the bike path, he said.
The baby was wrapped in a blanket and cold to the touch. She was hospitalized and remains in stable condition, Boese said.
The sheriff’s investigation revealed Washington went into the hospital on Nov. 23 and was sent home with the baby Nov. 26, St. Richard Ruiz told reporters.
“She did not want to deliver, she was afraid, she did not want people to know she was pregnant,” Ruiz said. “Once we identified her through the hospital, we reached out to people who knew her.”
Officials pointed out that under California law, an unwanted newborn can be left at a hospital or fire station with 72 hours of birth, no questions asked.
— City News Service