Riverside County

Woman Who Allegedly Killed Tot Found Near Freeway Arraigned

What to Know

  • Baby Jane Doe was found July 27 near Interstate 15 in Corona.
  • A 22-year-old woman and 17-year-old boy were arrested.
  • A funeral was held by the community and law enforcement for Baby Jane Doe.

A Corona woman accused with a 17-year-old boy of killing an infant and dumping the baby's remains near Interstate 15 pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder.

Shawna Joelle Andritch, 22, was arrested Dec. 7 for the death of "Baby Jane Doe" in July.

Andritch was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David Gunn, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Feb. 21 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. She's being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside. Her co-defendant, Joshua Tyler Benson, also is charged with murder.

Benson was being held at Riverside Juvenile Hall and is slated to appear for a settlement conference at Riverside Juvenile Dependency Court on Jan. 23. Andritch and Benson were taken into custody following a Corona police investigation that identified the pair thanks to tips given to detectives after the child was buried on Dec. 6 at Sunnyslope Cemetery.

Baby Jane Doe -- a name appended because detectives could not determine her identity -- was discovered by passers-by on the afternoon of July 27 near I-15 and Cajalco Road. Coroner's officials could not confirm a specific cause of death, or how many days old she was before she died. The case triggered community outrage, and police turned to the public for assistance identifying the baby's parents, but few clues were forthcoming.

Public safety officials raised funds to pay for Baby Jane Doe's burial at Sunnyslope, which generated additional publicity about the case. Corona police Sgt. Chad Fountain said that immediately after the service, detectives received credible information concerning who might be responsible for the infant's death. The information culminated in Andritch and the teenager being questioned, and they were arrested after giving statements to police, Fountain said.

He would not disclose what they said, how they are connected, or any other circumstances surrounding their arrests. Andritch has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions. No information was available concerning Benson.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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