The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved payout of two $5,000 rewards for information that led to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Baby Rose, a newborn baby girl whose body was found along railroad tracks in the City of Alhambra.
The body of Baby Rose was discovered wrapped in plastic grocery bags on March 11, 2006. On March 16, 2006, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich called for a $10,000 reward for information in the case. Over 50 tips were received by the Alhambra Police Department. Two of the tips aided in the investigation, so the County has authorized payout of the reward in the form of two separate amounts of $5,000 each. The two individuals who will receive the rewards have asked to remain anonymous.
Armed with information provided by the tipsters and DNA test results, the Alhambra Police Department was able to positively identify and arrest 41-year-old Tonya Shafer on November 29, 2006. On April 30, 2008, Shafer was sentenced to a prison term of 25 years-to-life.
This case shows that our reward system works and I am glad that the woman responsible for the death of Baby Rose is now in prison, said Supervisor Don Knabe. The sad reality is that newborn abandonments like this don’t need to happen. In Los Angeles County, we have a very successful alternative in the Safe Surrender Program, which allows for a person to confidentially handover a newborn.
The Safe Surrender Program was initiated by Supervisor Knabe and approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors in 2001. It allows someone to surrender an infant that is no more than three days old, as long as the infant shows no signs of abuse. Since its inception, 67 newborns have been safely surrendered in Los Angeles County.