A Sacramento mother was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of killing her 6-week-old baby by cooking her in a microwave oven, authorities said.
Mirabelle Thao-Lo was found dead March 17 after officers were called to the home by paramedics, the Sacramento Police Department said.
On Tuesday, officials said they were still trying to understand key events that led to what they described as a horrific crime.
After responding to the home, investigators concluded the baby's burns were not explainable and realized they had an uncommon case, Sgt. Norm Leong said. He said detectives sought out forensic experts and other medical professionals for advice.
"This was definitely unique," he told The Times. "Detectives realized that they would have to look beyond what they normally do … and found experts who said the injuries appeared to be from a microwave."
The "thermal injuries," police said, were consistent with those documented in cases from Dayton, Ohio; New Kent County, Va., and Galveston, Texas. Detectives researched those cases and awaited the findings of the Sacramento County coroner's office.
"Based on that research and the autopsy results," the department said in a statement, "detectives believe the injuries occurred as a result of the child being burned in a microwave oven."
Ka Yang, 29, was taken into custody at the home in the 800 block of Rood Avenue. She has been charged with homicide.
"We don't know what motivated her to do the crime," Leong said. "We don't really know what led up to it."