Woman accused of posing as social worker, attempting to kidnap newborn baby in Santa Ana surrenders to police

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman who allegedly posed as a social worker and tried to kidnap a baby from his home in Santa Ana was in police custody Friday night.

The woman, who said her name was Mayella Ortega, arrived at the home in the 2300 block of South Evergreen Street on May 31 and told the infant's mother that she was there to take her 1-week-old baby into protective custody. The suspect did not provide any identification, Santa Ana police say.

The mother then questioned the woman, who said she'd return with the sheriff's department and threatened to forcibly remove the baby from the home, according to police.

"And I say, 'OK, if the sheriff has to come in, that's fine. But I don't want to give you my kid," the mother told the woman.

The suspect left the residence in a white SUV. Luckily, the mom and her sisters were able to capture cellphone video of the woman as she walked away.

Social services said no one by the woman's given name works for the agency, and there are no records connected with the home.

The woman turned herself in to police and was positively identified by the child's mother.

The mother said that according to police, the suspect said that's her in the video but she wasn't there to take the baby.

She's now set to be interviewed by homicide detectives to figure out what she was doing, but that's not the only concern.

"How did this woman know that this victim had a child less than 2 weeks ago, where she lives," said Santa Ana PD Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "How'd she get her personal information? That's all scary to us."

Santa Ana police said that if Social Services were to take a child, they would have law enforcement with them at the time.

Information on the suspect's identity and possible charges have not yet been released. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-245-8665.
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