Police searching for body of newborn baby in landfill site after mother arrested on child neglect charges

via KNBC

Police are searching a landfill site in California for the body of a missing 3-week-old baby, after his mother was arrested on child abuse charges in Utah.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were combing through waste at the Antelope Valley landfill in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles, on Tuesday in the hope of finding Baki Dewees, NBC Los Angeles reported.

The infant boy was born on April 14 and was last seen alive on May 3 in Palmdale, according to a flyer distributed by family members on social media. The flyer featured a picture of tiny Baki, wearing a yellow sweater and green pants, and said he was last seen with his father, Yusuf Dewees, 24.

The sheriff’s department said in a press release that it initially responded to a report of a missing child at the 2300 block of Carolyn Drive in Palmdale.

"During the early stages, the investigation transitioned from a missing child search to a death investigation," the department said.

The statement also confirmed that the boy's parents — who have three other children — were both arrested and are being held in custody on charges unrelated to the missing boy.

Jail records show that the mother, Roselani Gaoa, 25, was arrested on April 16 — just two days after Baki was born — on charges of intentional child abuse, reckless child abuse and aggravated child abuse. Both are being held in Ogden, Utah, north of Salt Lake City,

The baby's father, Yusuf Dewees, was arrested on May 7 on charges of obstruction of justice and making a false statement to be used at a preliminary hearing, the records show.

There has so far been no indication of what evidence led police to the landfill site.

The LA County Sheriff's Department declined to comment further but Lt. Omar Camacho told the LA Times Tuesday: "Unfortunately, this started off as a missing infant and now it is a death investigation. We’re searching [the landfill] based on where the investigation has taken us, and unfortunately we weren’t able to find anything today."

"When the baby came up missing, that's when you know something is wrong," the baby's grandfather, Brad Parke, told NBC Los Angeles. "We just want to know where the baby's at. Hoping that the baby's alive, praying that the baby's actually alive."

Parke also said that the baby's mother, his step-daughter, had recently moved to California from Ohio with her husband and the couple's three other children, ages 1, 3 and 5.

Parke said the family moved to California but "things didn't work out" and Yusuf Dewees wanted to "go his own way."

Sofia Paulo, Baki's grandmother, who has been pleading for help in finding him on via social media, told NBC Los Angeles in a phone call that he was only a few days old when Gaoa was arrested on suspicion of child abuse while staying at a shelter in Utah.

Paulo raised the alarm after she called the shelter to check on Baki and found out he wasn't there.