BELLFLOWER (CNS) - A memorial of candles, notes and stuffed animals was growing this morning near the spot where a baby girl from Sacramento was found dead in a car seat behind a Bellflower mortuary and authorities searched for her father, who was last seen with her and made suicidal statements to family members before going missing.
The child was found dead partially covered by a blanket about 10:35 a.m. Monday behind the mortuary in the 10300 block of Alondra Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
She was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner's office as 8- month-old Alexia Rose Echeverria. An autopsy was pending, so there was no immediate word on how the child died.
The baby was the daughter of 22-year-old Alexander Echeverria, who remains unaccounted for, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader.
“We believe the (baby's) death occurred in Sacramento County,” Schrader said, adding that all other information about the case would be released by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.
SCSO Sgt. Tess Deterding said Echeverria's family members reported him missing on Monday.
“At the time, he was believed to be traveling with his 8-month-old daughter ...,” Deterding said. “Alexander was last seen in Southern California early Monday morning. The Sacramento Sheriff's Office is currently working with local and federal agencies to identify the whereabouts of Alexander.”
Earlier, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department issued a statement indicating that Echeverria was last seen with his 8-month-old daughter about 10:30 p.m. Friday driving in Bellflower in a gray 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, California license number 7FFT866.
He is still believed to be driving that vehicle, Deterding said.
“Alexander is considered a person of interest in the death of Alexia,” Deterding said. “He is considered at-risk due to suicidal statements made to family members recently.”
Officials circulated a photo of Echeverria, described as Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts was urged to call the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office at 916-874-5115, or the Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at 916-443-HELP. Also, people may leave tips anonymously at www.sacsheriff.com, or by calling 916-874-TIPS.
Tipsters may be eligible for a reward by providing information leading to the arrest of Echeverria through Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers, Deterding said.
Photo: Getty Images