A Southern California woman accused of tossing her 7-month-old son from the fourth floor of a hospital parking garage was arrested after she circled back to the scene four hours later, a police spokesman said Tuesday. A neighbor said the woman had become depressed after the child's birth.
Sonia Hermosillo, 31, of La Habra was arrested Monday night, hours after the baby was thrown over a parking-structure railing at Children's Hospital of Orange County, police Sgt. Dan Adams said.
The infant remained in critical condition Tuesday at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center, which has a trauma unit.
Hermosillo, who could make a first court appearance as early as today, was being held without bail for investigation of attempted murder and is undergoing a psychological evaluation in the jail's medical ward, said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino. She also was on an immigration hold, he said.
No one answered the door Tuesday at the upstairs apartment where Hermosillo lives with her husband, two young daughters and infant son. A pair of pink child's flip flops, a sand pail and two Barbie dolls sat on the stoop.
Sonia Herrera, 40, who lives in the apartment directly below, said she knew Hermosillo before Hermosillo moved into the complex two months ago because their children attend the same elementary school.
She said Hermosillo was a normal, loving mother to her daughters and was excited to be pregnant with a son. But after the boy was born, she changed suddenly and seemed depressed, Herrera said. She withdrew and, while bubbly before, hardly talked at all.
"She was different. She was serious," Herrera said. "I asked her many questions, and she just said 'Yes' or 'No.' "
When she saw Hermosillo's picture on the news, she was shocked.
"I just wanted to cry, and I asked, 'Why? Why did this happen?' "
A witness on the ground saw the baby falling through the air just after 6 p.m. Monday and called 911, authorities said.
Court records in Orange County indicate Hermosillo has no major criminal record but pleaded guilty to four traffic violations in La Habra in 2008, including driving without a valid license and having no proof of insurance.
It's unclear whether the family had any connection to Children's Hospital before the incident, Adams said. A hospital spokeswoman referred all calls to police.