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Mother Arrested in Death of Her Infant Allegedly Left Alone in Car

Investigation: Hacienda Heights woman is being held on $1-million bail after questioning by deputies. She is set to appear in court Tuesday.

July 21, 2002|HECTOR BECERRA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Hacienda Heights woman was arrested Saturday on suspicion of killing her 4-month-old baby, who died after being left in a car for more than seven hours, authorities said.

Roxanne Rodrigo, 23, left her son, Christian, inside her Toyota Camry at an undisclosed location Wednesday in the San Gabriel Valley and found him dead when she returned seven to eight hours later, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Larry Lincoln said. She did not immediately report the death, Lincoln added.

On Saturday, Rodrigo was behaving bizarrely while at a carwash with friends, who decided to call her father.

When he arrived, Rodrigo said she had something to tell him, and led him to her car, parked at St. John Vianney Catholic Church on Turnbull Canyon Road in Hacienda Heights, authorities said. Her father looked inside the car and saw the baby in the back seat.

The father called 911, and sheriff's deputies discovered the dead baby at 1:45 p.m. After questioning Rodrigo and her father, deputies arrested Rodrigo about 2:15 p.m. and booked her at the Industry sheriff's station on suspicion of murder, authorities said. She is being held in lieu of $1-million bail and is scheduled to appear Tuesday at the Rio Hondo Courthouse in El Monte.

Authorities said there were no visible signs of injury on the baby's body.

Neighbors said Rodrigo lived with Christian, a young daughter, the children's father and a roommate. The baby's father is in jail on domestic violence charges, authorities said.

Sheriff's detectives are still investigating the case, and the coroner's office had not determined a cause of death late Saturday.

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