Fullerton woman charged with murder, child abuse after allegedly drowning newborn in toilet

SANTA ANA — A 20-year-old Fullerton woman who allegedly drowned her newborn son in a toilet and disposed of his body in a trash can was charged with murder and child abuse today.

Yanira Valderrama was expected to be arraigned Monday in Santa Ana. She could face up to 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

Valderrama, who apparently hid her pregnancy from her family, allegedly gave birth to the boy in a bathroom of the family's Fullerton home on Sept. 4.

Prosecutors contend that when she heard her mother trying to enter the bathroom from a connecting bedroom, Valderrama put the newborn in the toilet.

When her mother left the adjoining bedroom, Valderrama allegedly wrapped the newborn in a T-shirt and threw him in a bedroom trash can, according to the District Attorney's Office. She allegedly expelled the placenta a short time later and hid it under the bathroom sink, prosecutors said.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Valderrama's mother went into the bathroom later that night and saw blood and dialed 9-1-1. Paramedics took Valderrama and the discarded placenta, which was found by her mother, to a hospital, where doctors confirmed she had just given birth.

Police returned to the home and found the newborn in the trash can.

Valderrama was arrested Thursday.

An autopsy on the child determined that the child died of "a blunt force injury to the head and asphyxia while submerged in water,'' said Sgt. Andrew Goodrich of the Fullerton Police Department.