Mother, boyfriend arrested after strangling baby in hospital moments after birth, police say

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jul 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-22 02:58:13-04

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. — The mother of a newborn and her boyfriend have been arrested after the disturbing murder of the baby soon after she gave birth at a California hospital.

Andrea Torralba, 20, and David Villa, 21, both of Oxnard, California, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were taken into custody on Friday afternoon after police responded to St. John’s Medical Center.

After responding to the hospital, officers from the Oxnard Police Department "learned that a newborn infant was in critical condition with suspicious injuries," according to the department.

Detectives from Oxnard police's Family Protection Unit said their investigation led them to believe Torralba and Villa strangled the baby until he was unconscious just hours after she gave birth.

Hospital personnel immediately started life-saving procedures, but the male child was pronounced dead.

Oxnard police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide told Los Angeles ABC station KABC the couple admitted under questioning that they did not want the child.

Both have been charged with assault on a child by means of force resulting in the child’s death, police said. The felony is punishable by a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Villa is being held at Ventura County's Main Jail on $5 million bail. He is next scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Torralba is being held on $1 million bail, police said.

Authorities said an investigation into the death is still ongoing.