Missing 3-Week-Old Girl Found Dead, Father Arrested

Sheriff's deputies arrested a man in Southern California Saturday on suspicion of killing his 3-week-old baby, authorities said.

The baby girl's body was found in a car after search-and-rescue crews scoured Santa Clarita Valley for the infant overnight, officials said. Authorities said the father led them to the body.

The infan'ts parents reported her missing to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at 9:35 p.m. Friday, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman. Deputies responded to the 21300 block of Alder Drive in the Santa Clarita Valley city of Newhall after the parents walked into the sheriff's office to report the disappearance.

Later, sheriff's deputies announced they arrested the 30-year-old father, Matthew Warner, at an 11 a.m. press conference. His attorney information was not immediately available.

Sheriff’s Lt. Holly Francisco said Warner was being booked on suspicion of murder.

The baby was found Saturday at around 7 a.m. in the cab of a pickup truck left at a park-and-ride in the 23600 block of Newhall Avenue, officials said. The cause of the baby's death was unknown.

Warner told investigators, "I think the baby's body is here," leading them to the truck, which had Oregon license plates. The truck

The girl's mother was not arrested but was being held at the station, officials said. She was described as being distraught, and officials said she had called police about an unrelated incident involving Warner earlier in the day on Friday.

Neighbor Aurthor Allen said the community where they live is close, and that he and his girlfriend were searching for the baby Friday night.

"You always hope for the best and pray someone will find the baby or come forward saying 'I have the baby, I'm sorry, she's fine,'" Allen said. "I know this family must be crushed. The community definitely is."

Neighbors who helped in the overnight search for the infant called her discovery heartbreaking.

“It kind of put a shockwave through all of us,” one neighbor said.

People who know the couple said the girl was the parents’ first child.

“It’s my understanding that dad was the one in charge of taking care of the child yesterday. I think mom was at work,” said neighbor Ed Griffin.

The parents told detectives their baby was last seen wearing a Sesame Street diaper and a pink and blue beanie, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's spokeswoman Lt. Brenda Cambra said.

Search-and-rescue teams were requested, as well as K-9 units and air search to assist, in trying to locate the missing infant, officials said.

Officials said early Saturday morning that the parents were at the Sheriff's station, cooperating with the detectives.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at 661-255-1121. 

An online fundraiser was established to help the baby's family. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by clicking here.

Oleevia Woo and Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.

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