SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Police in Santa Ana have booked a 38-year-old woman Saturday morning after she allegedly posed as a social worker and tried to walk off with a newborn baby.
The woman apparently said it’s all a big misunderstanding. After seeing herself on TV in earlier broadcast reports, the woman walked into the Santa Ana police station to turn herself in.
What the woman did — or didn’t do — remains a mystery.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler reported from Santa Ana where she spoke to the worried mother.
She says that the woman came knocking on her door and tried to take her baby.
“The police say stay inside, close the doors, lock the doors,” says the alleged victim.
A terrifying ordeal has this young Santa Ana mother fearing the worst.
“I feel nervous, I feel angry, I feel scared,” the mom said.
She didn’t want to give Butler her name but this mother of a 1-week-old boy says at 11:30 Friday morning, the suspect came to her front door and claimed she was Mayellah Ortega with Orange County Social Services and demanded to take her newborn.
“She didn’t have any ID, any picture with the name, with social service,” says the mom.
She says the stranger became aggressive and threatened to call the police.
“She tried and tried and I said ‘No I don’t wanna give you my child. If the sheriff is coming to arrest me, that’s fine,'” says the mom.
When the new mom refused to hand over her child, the unidentified woman gave up and she walked away.
The new mom’s sister started recording cellphone video.
“I take the picture, and the video,” says Jenny Bautista, who said the woman walked faster, tried to shield her face and didn’t look up.
Bautista says she also shot pictures of the woman’s white SUV.
As detectives question the woman, they say there’s no record of a woman with OC Social Services by the name she gave the mom.
They also said this is not how an employee with Social Services would ever approach a parent.
“If there was an investigation ongoing,” says Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, “this is not how it would have gone down.”
Family members are just grateful the baby is okay.
“Thank God she reacted the way she reacted,” says the alleged victim’s sister-in-law, Maria Caballeros. “God was there and this is another way for him to show us he’s watching over us.”
Police were interviewing the woman Friday night, and as of Saturday morning, it was reported that she had been booked as part of an investigation by homicide detectives and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The name of the suspect was not immediately released.