Mom surrenders to police after abandoning child

November 4, 2010 12:40:27 PM PDT
An East Bay mother accused of abandoning her toddler on Wednesday morning has turned herself in. Police say she told officers she didn't feel fit to be a mother.

The mother was booked here at San Pablo Police this morning on charges of child endangerment, a felony and desertion. If convicted, she could face years in prison.

Saundra Samuel or Richmond turned herself in at around 6 a.m. According to Police, the 40-year- dropped off her 18-month-old son in a San Pablo neighborhood and took off in a taxi.

Investigators say Samuel knows no one in the neighborhood, and just happened to be in the area when she decided to abandon her little boy.

"She saw the media reports at around 6.a.m. and contacted us and we brought her here to interview. Basically she told that she was an unfit mother and that somebody else would be able to take care of the child better," Sgt. Dave Lewellyn from San Pablo Police Department said.

Police say Samuel does have an arrest record, but would not go into detail. The boy is now with Contra Costa County Child and Family Services.

"The child is in good care. He has been in the care of CPS since it was found yesterday, and I don't expect that they are going to release that child back to her anytime soon," Lewellyn said.

Because the mother may be in prison for a while, Contra Costa County Child and Family Services Director Joe Valentine said the best option for a child in this predicament would be finding a relative to care for the child.

California does have a safely surrendered baby law, which allows mothers to drop off a child at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked. But that only applies to newborns up to 3-days-old and besides, this child wasn't dropped off at a safe location.


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