Dead baby found in trunk
The grizzly discovery of a decomposing body of an infant in the trunk of a car by a tow truck driver late Sunday night has created many questions for authorities.
The vehicle was parked in the 1000 block of Sonora Avenue in front of a residence in violation of the city’s snow removal ordinances. A driver with Welcome’s Towing picked up the vehicle. He told South Lake Tahoe Police that as he was unhooking the car at the tow yard he detected an unusual odor coming from the trunk.
Although the driver found the infant’s body Sunday evening it was not reported to the police department until 10:58 a.m. Monday. According to police, the driver said he was too distraught about what he had found to report it Sunday.
The vehicle is registered to Maria Liddell, 21, of South Lake Tahoe. Liddell was brought in for questioning Tuesday afternoon. Investigators said that Liddell admitted giving birth to the child last summer and told police it died a short time later. The birth and death both went unreported by Liddell, who has no other children. Detectives said Liddell gave them a cause of death, but they would not release it at this time. Police said they believe the child was full-term. Due to the decomposition they could not confirm what sex the infant was.
Detectives said Liddell is a suspect, but could not comment on what charges she might be facing. Liddell was not arrested Tuesday and no charges have been filed against her.
“We have still not received a cause of death from the pathologist,” said Detective Martin Hewlett. “The case is still too preliminary to comment on charges.”
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Thunderstorms made their way through the Lake Tahoe basin this weekend and more rain and cooler temperatures are on tap this week.