Calif. Couple Allegedly Strangled Newborn in Hospital Room Shortly After Mom Gave Birth

Doctors worked for more than 10 hours to save Baby Diego, who died of his injuries after his mother and her boyfriend allegedly strangled him

David Villa and Andrea Torralba
Photo: Oxnard Police Department

A California couple was arrested Friday after they allegedly strangled the woman’s newborn son in her hospital room shortly after she gave birth because they didn’t want him, say police.

Just before 8 a.m. on Friday, officers from the Oxnard Police Department responded to a call at St. John’s Medical Center and learned that a newborn was in critical condition with “suspicious injuries,” the Oxnard Police Department says in a release.

Detectives soon learned that the child’s mother, Andrea Torralba, 20, and her boyfriend, David Villa, 21, allegedly strangled the newborn until he was unconscious, Oxnard police said.

The couple allegedly admitted the violence to detectives, said Oxnard Police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Camacho allegedly told investigators that she didn’t want the baby and that Villa, her boyfriend, was not the child’s father, the Times reports.

It was not immediately clear which member of the couple allegedly strangled the boy, or if both of them did.

Doctors worked for 10 hours trying to save the baby, who succumbed to his injuries Friday night, Ordelheide said.

“By the looks of the nurses, they did everything they could to try and revive that kid,” he said, the Times and the Associated Press report. “I can tell you this is probably one of the worst things these detectives can go through, is something like this, but we’re still trying to figure out what happened.”

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Hospital personnel were equally distraught.

“While we deal with tragedies every day, the staff at St. John’s Regional Medical Center are devastated by the alleged incident,” the hospital said in a statement to KCBS-TV Channel 2.

“In the midst of this investigation, it is timely to remind our community of California’s Safe Surrender Law.”

In California, a baby up to three days old in can be anonymously surrendered at hospitals and fire stations – with no questions asked, according to state law.

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