Woman arrested after newborn found dead at Mecca Park

Esmeralda Gonzales Martinez faces charges of voluntary manslaughter and willful harm to child

MECCA, Calif. - The Riverside County Coroner's office said a newborn baby boy was discovered abandoned dead in a park in Mecca Monday morning.  

Detectives from the Central Homicide Unit and the Thermal Riverside County Sheriff's office identified the mother of the newborn as Esmeralda Gonzales Martinez, 34, of Thermal.  Martinez was arrested for voluntary manslaughter and willful harm to a child.  Martinez was booked into the Riverside County Indio jail. 

The coroner report listed the newborn only with the last name Martinez-Gonzales, with no age.  The discovery was made at 7:30 a.m. at the City Park on the 65200 block of Cahuilla Street in Mecca.  

Sheriff investigators believe the baby was born at the scene and also died there. The exact cause of death has yet to be determined, but an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.  The next of kin had been notified according to the coroner report.

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