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2 Women May Face Charges After Bogus Abandoned Baby Call

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LONG BEACH (CBS) — Two women could face criminal charges for what police say was a bogus call about an abandoned baby.

Paloma Espinosa, 28, gave birth to a baby girl Monday at home and brought the child to her mother, Sonya Hernandez, who told police that she found the newborn Monday night at a USA Gas station at Seventh Street and Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach police Sgt. Rico Fernandez said.

The girl, who appeared to be healthy, was taken to a hospital and placed in protective custody, Fernandez said.

Hernandez, who spoke to media freely Monday night and Tuesday morning, was no longer speaking out as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Leave me alone please! I don’t want to talk to nobody!” she yelled through her apartment door at CBS2/KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar.

Just hours earlier, Hernandez claimed the police were lying and that she did not know who the birth mother was.

“If you think that I know the mother, that I would do all this big deal that happened last night,” Hernandez said, spreading her arms for emphasis, “I didn’t do nothing at all. I just get the baby and keep him that’s it. I didn’t this, all this drama that I did last night.”

Police will present their case to the District Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will decide if one or both should be charged with a crime. Neither was arrested, police said.

Espinosa faces possible charges of child abandonment and child endangerment charges, and Hernandez faces a possible charge of filing a false police report, Fernandez said.

Fernandez said Espinosa initially told her mother she found the baby, but that her mother later learned the truth. Police believe Hernandez knowingly told police that she herself had found the child at the gas station.

“The birth mother, we believe, did not feel capable of raising a child,” Long Beach Police Sgt. Rico Fernandez said. “We believe she, her intentions were to protect the relationship she’s in.”

“She is alleging that she was unaware that she was pregnant and she is in a relationship with another female,” Sgt. Fernandez told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz.

Officials say Espinosa was hospitalized in stable condition.

Under state law, a babies can be surrendered at fire stations, hospitals and other designated sites within 72 hours of their birth.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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