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O.C. Mom Held After Newborn Is Found Dead


FULLERTON — A woman arrested three years ago for abandoning her infant daughter shortly after giving birth was arrested Saturday after the body of her newborn son was found in a cardboard box in the trunk of her car, police said.

Jackie Lynn Anderson, 37, of Fullerton was booked into the Orange County Jail early Saturday morning on suspicion of murder, Fullerton Police Lt. Tony Hernandez said.

Her mother, Peggy Anderson, discovered the baby boy in the trunk while looking in her daughter's car Friday evening, police said. Peggy Anderson's husband then called the Fullerton Fire Department seeking medical aid, but the baby was dead when paramedics arrived, police said.

A preliminary autopsy of the baby boy "determined it was a live birth," Hernandez said. But the baby's cause of death was unknown pending the completion of the toxicology report by the Orange County coroner, he said.

Hernandez said that police are re-investigating Anderson's previous arrest in December, 1992, when she was booked on one count of felony child endangerment. At that time, Anderson's roommate heard a baby crying after Anderson left for work and discovered a tangle of bloody sheets in Anderson's bedroom.

A Fullerton police officer pulled back the bedclothes and found a day-and-a-half-old baby girl still uncleaned after being born, police said at the time. Paramedics had to clear the baby's lungs and give her oxygen to ease her shallow breathing, police said.

Anderson told police then that she was upset after giving birth and had not yet decided what to do about the baby. The child was taken to a local hospital and Anderson's 11-year-old son was placed with relatives.

Linda Kelley, who owned the home that Anderson was renting at the time, was stunned Saturday to learn that her former tenant may have abandoned another newborn.

"It's so sad," said Kelley, recalling the tiny infant Anderson left in her bed. "I don't why she does it. I think it's pretty obvious she doesn't want these kids."

Kelley said no one, including Anderson's roommate and neighbors at the time, had known Anderson was pregnant. Anderson, who worked with her roommate in the office at Aladdin Carpet Mills in Fullerton, had been an avid fitness buff and had stopped working out, Kelley said. The roommate had thought Anderson's small weight gain had been due to lack of exercise, Kelley said.

The roommate "had no idea that any of this had gone on. She was real upset," Kelley said. "That's how she found out, she heard the baby crying. It was horrible."

Kelley said Anderson was "real nice and very friendly" and neither she nor the roommate appeared to have boyfriends. After her arrest, Anderson never returned to the house, Kelley said.

It could not be determined Saturday whether Anderson ever regained custody of her children or whether she had been prosecuted in the 1992 case. She did, however, return eventually to her parents' home to live.

On Saturday, a man who said he lives at the Anderson home said he had no comment regarding Anderson's arrest.

Neighbors on Applewood Circle said Anderson kept mostly to herself. Next-door neighbors, who declined to identify themselves, said they did not know much about Anderson other than that she was pregnant.

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