Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
WOMAN SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR CAUSING DROWNING-DEATH OF NEWBORN BABY IN TOILET
SANTA ANA – A woman was sentenced today to five years in state prison for causing the drowning-death of her newborn baby by giving birth into the toilet of her family home and failing to seek medical attention for the child. Yanira Valderrama, Fullerton, 21, pleaded guilty Sept. 26, 2011, to one felony count of child abuse with a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.
At approximately 10:00 p.m., on Sept. 4, 2009, Valderrama, then 19 years old, was pregnant with a baby boy and went into labor more than two weeks early. No one in her family knew she was pregnant.
The defendant gave birth to the baby into her bathroom toilet in her family’s Fullerton home. Valderrama remained on the toilet for 10 to 15 minutes, during which time the baby boy drowned. The defendant then removed the baby from the toilet, wrapped his dead body in a towel or t-shirt, and placed the baby in a waste basket in her bedroom.
Valderrama’s mother entered the bathroom later that night, saw the large amounts blood, and immediately dialed 911. Paramedics transported the defendant to the hospital.
Upon arriving at Anaheim Memorial Hospital, doctors examined Valderrama and determined that she had just given birth and alerted police. That same night, Fullerton police found the dead newborn in the defendant’s bedroom.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve McGreevy of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.