Mom pleads not guilty to burying newborn alive in California

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy cradles a newborn found buried alive in Compton on Nov. 27, 2015. Photo: CBS News
COMPTON, Calif. — A woman who allegedly buried her newborn daughter alive near a Compton riverbed pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder and child abuse.

Porche Washington, 33, entered the pleas Monday and was ordered held on $1 million bail. The charge carries a potential life sentence.

Washington didn’t want people to know she was pregnant and hid her condition from family and friends, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Ruiz said.

“Basically she was stressed. She did not want to deliver the baby at first,” Ruiz said. “She was afraid.”

Washington gave birth at a hospital on Nov. 23. She was released with the child on Nov. 26. A day later, two sisters walking on a Compton bike path near a riverbed heard her daughter’s muffled cries, authorities said.

She had been hiding her pregnancy and “She did not want people to know she was pregnant,” Ruiz said, adding that she had been successfully concealing her condition.

Sheriff’s deputies called to the scene also heard the cries. They removed chunks of asphalt and found the baby, wrapped in a hospital blanket, in a shallow, rubble-encased crevice.

The baby is hospitalized in good condition.

Social service workers have said they will try to find her an adopted home.

Ruiz said the mothers arrest last week took place in a Compton home without incident and that people who knew Washington helped lead police to her after authorities had identified the suspect through the hospital where she delivered.

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