Two sheriff’s deputies who rescued a newborn girl buried alive near Compton Creek were honored Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor Don Knabe thanked deputies Adam Collette and David Perry, saying it was a miracle that the infant survived.
At the time, her body temperature had dropped to 94 degrees and doctors said she would not have survived the night,”
On Nov. 27, the Compton Sheriff’s Station received reports of a baby crying in the riverbed area between 136th Street and Slater Avenue. Collette and Perry searched until they heard a muffled cry and found the infant buried alive under pieces of asphalt and rubble inside a crevice along the bike path.
The baby was wrapped in a blanket and cold to the touch. She was hospitalized and remains in stable condition, Knabe said.
The baby’s mother has been charged with attempted murder and child abuse. Porche Laronda Washington, 33, was arrested Dec. 3 and pleaded not guilty in a Compton courtroom on Monday. She faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
The sheriff’s investigation revealed Washington went into the hospital on Nov. 23 and was sent home with the baby three days later, Sgt. Richard Ruiz said.
“She did not want to deliver; Washington 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.”
Knabe reminded mothers that the Safe Surrender law allows an unwanted newborn to be left at a hospital or fire station within 72 hours of birth, no questions asked.
“Mothers who find themselves in that desperate situation do have a better choice,” Knabe said. “No name, no blame, no shame.”
Sixteen infants have been surrendered under the law in Los Angeles County this year, the highest number for any year since the program began,