When hospital staff in California discovered a seemingly healthy newborn had suddenly become unresponsive, they attempted to revive the child. After they saw the child’s suspicious injuries, however, it became clear what the new parents had done just moments after the baby’s birth, and staff quickly called the cops.
Andrea Torralba, a 20-year-old woman of Oxnard, California, gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby boy at St. John’s Medical Center, but any usual celebrations would be short-lived. While the birth of a child is usually a joyous occasion, Torralba and her boyfriend, 21-year-old David Villa, felt much differently about the birth of their son, as the staff at the California hospital would soon find out.
Shortly after Torralba gave birth, the young parents called the medical staff to their room to notify them that their hours-old son had become unresponsive, AP News reported. The staff made every effort to revive the child, but it would all be in vain.
The baby was in critical condition when police responded to calls from staff at the Southern California hospital for their concerns of suspicious injuries. Later that day, he was pronounced dead and his parents were arrested for his disturbing murder, according to Daily Mail.
Officers from the Oxnard Police Department responded to the medical center, where they “learned that a newborn infant was in critical condition with suspicious injuries,” according to the department. “Medical staff was notified that the infant was unresponsive and, despite the efforts of the medical team, the infant succumbed to his injuries,” the department’s news release added.
Although hospital personnel promptly started life-saving procedures, the baby boy was soon pronounced dead, Yahoo! News reported. Doctors determined the newborn was strangled until he was unconscious, prompting the call to police. Detectives from the Oxnard Police’s Family Protection Unit immediately joined the investigation into the suspicious death.
Like the doctors had suspected, investigators also believe Torralba and Villa strangled the baby in the hospital until he was unconscious just hours after the mother had given birth, according to ABC News. Torralba and Villa were taken into custody the same afternoon their baby was born, accused of strangling him to death in the hospital, just moments after his birth.
As if being summoned to a hospital only to find a newborn baby had been strangled to death by his own parents isn’t disturbing enough, the parents had a shocking admission for the police. According to Oxnard Police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide, the couple confessed to investigators during questioning that they did not want the child.
Andrea Torralba and David Villa were both charged with assault on a child by means of force resulting in the child’s death, a felony that’s punishable by a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. According to ABC News, Torralba was held on a $1-million dollar bail, while Villa was held at Ventura County’s Main Jail on a $5-million bail.
Making the child’s death all the more tragic, California, like all 50 states in the US, has a Safe Haven law. The parents could have simply told the hospital staff that they did not want the baby and walked away, not facing any charges whatsoever. He would be alive, and someone who’s been praying for a baby would have been blessed with the opportunity to adopt.
Instead, Andrea Torralba and David Villa selfishly chose to snuff out his life for reasons we simply can’t fathom. No matter how a parent feels about their child, no child is unwanted. Someone, somewhere, would love the blessing the birth parent didn’t appreciate. With so many options available, prison hardly seems like a fair punishment, no matter how long the sentence. Their son’s life could have easily been spared. They decided to gruesomely rob him of it instead. Perhaps they should be treated in the same fashion.