Abandoned Baby Found in Fullerton Service Station Bathroom; Woman Arrested

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FULLERTON (CNS) - An abandoned newborn baby was found in a trash can in a restroom at a Fullerton gas station, and a woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, police said.

Fullerton Police Department officers responded at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday to the station in the 900 block of Orangethorpe Avenue, near Euclid Street, regarding a possible abandoned newborn inside a restroom, said police Sgt. Ryan O'Neil.

After finding the baby, officers began lifesaving measures on the infant and called paramedics from the Fullerton Fire Department, who took the baby to a hospital in critical but stable condition, O'Neil said.

"After conducting a thorough investigation, which included surveillance footage and possible suspect vehicle information, detectives served a search warrant at approximately 1:45 a.m. (Friday) in the 400 block of W. Orangethorpe Avenue," O'Neil said.

"Ultimately, a 25-year-old female resident of Fullerton, Venissa Maldonado, was arrested for attempt murder and felony child abuse," O'Neil said.

Maldonado was being held on $500,000 bail, according to jail records

Anyone with further information was urged to contact Fullerton police Detective Marcus Saenz at 714-738-5361. Those wishing to provide information anonymously can call the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or you visit their website at https://occrimestoppers.org/.

"Just another reminder that the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January of 2006," O'Neil said. "The law's intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or person with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked."

The Safely Surrendered Baby Law requires the baby be taken to a public or private hospital, designated fire station or other safe surrender site designated by the County Board of Supervisors.

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