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Mother is reunited with baby

March 05, 2007|Susannah Rosenblatt | Times Staff Writer

Nine months after an El Monte woman allegedly abducted a Mexican national's newborn and threatened to turn the woman in to immigration officials if she reported the crime, authorities reunited the mother with her son early Sunday, officials said.

El Monte police arrested Artemia Hernandez, 44, the mother's former roommate, on suspicion of child abduction and concealment.

In May, Hernandez bullied the boy's 20-year-old mother into handing over her week-old son, police said. Hernandez convinced her former roommate that the infant could be taken from her because of the young woman's illegal status, according to law enforcement.

Hernandez persuaded the woman to list Hernandez as the baby's mother on his Los Angeles County birth certificate and on hospital documents, police said.

The Baldwin Park mother called and cajoled Hernandez to return her son, police said; Hernandez instead threatened to take steps to have her deported.

Acting on an anonymous tip, El Monte police detectives and employees with the county Department of Children and Family Services located the baby and delivered him to his mother at the police station Sunday.

The boy showed no signs of abuse and is currently in county custody, said El Monte Police Lt. Ken Alva.

Officials with the Department of Children and Family Services cannot comment on specific cases for confidentiality reasons, a spokesman said.

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susannah.rosenblatt@latimes.com

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