06/09/2015 03:53 pm ET

Mom Kills Baby, Hides Remains In California Storage Facility For A Year, Police Say

A California mom killed her 8-month-old son, hid his body in a storage facility for a year, then asked a local church for handouts to pay for a funeral that would never happen, police say.

Maria Torres, 31, was arrested Saturday after an employee found human remains in a storage shed in Bloomington, homicide detectives with the Fontana Sheriff's Station told CBS Los Angeles. She was charged with murder.

Investigators say Torres -- who has three other children now in child protective custody -- killed the boy and then hid him from her family and friends. She reportedly told everyone she knew that her son had problems with "thin blood" and high potassium problems before he died, NBC News reports.

She asked members of the local Saint George Catholic Church for donations for a funeral, but when it never happened, she said she used the money to cremate the boy, who was known to the church as "Baby Joel." She's now also being investigated on fraud charges.

Torres' neighbors expressed anger and relief that the mom is in jail.

"She's where were she needs to be, because nobody does that to a kid," neighbor Andrea Magana told CBS.

The baby's cause of death wasn't released, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Torres is being held without bail at West Valley Detention Center.


Questionable Parenting