A dead newborn baby was found Monday morning in a Nyeland Acres strawberry field, which is an unincorporated part of Camarillo, Calif.
Ventura County Sheriff's detectives said a farm worker made the horrific discovery at about 9:30 a.m. in the 3200 block of Central Avenue, ABC reports. Authorities could not immediately determine the sex of the baby.
"The body had been there fairly recently; probably overnight, maybe from last night," Sgt. Eric Buschow told NBC.
"One of our concerns: investigators want to find out who the mother is. They are concerned about her health and well-being," Buschow continued.
While the cause of death is unknown, authorities are treating the death as a homicide as a standard part of the initial death investigation, the Ventura County Star reports. No arrests have yet been made.
According to California's Safely Surrendered Baby (SSB) Law, "a parent or person with lawful custody can safely surrender a baby confidentially, and without fear of prosecution, within 72 hours of birth. "
Here's how the program, which has the motto "No shame. No Blame. No Names.," works:
The SSB law requires the baby be taken to a public or private hospital, designated fire station or other safe surrender site, as determined by the local County Board of Supervisors. No questions will be asked and California Penal Code Section 271.5 protects surrendering individuals from prosecution of abandonment.
At the time of surrender, a bracelet is placed on the baby for identification purposes and a matching bracelet provided to the parent or lawful guardian, in case the baby is reclaimed. A parent or person with lawful custody has up to 14 days from the time of surrender to reclaim their baby.
Anyone with information about the baby found in the strawberry field is urged to call the Ventura County Sheriff's Department at (805) 384-4721.
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