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Woman accused of throwing baby described as happy, a 'lovely mom'

August 23, 2011 |  3:25 pm

Sonia Hermosillo, left, and Noe Medina Jr.

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

The woman accused of dropping her baby from a hospital parking garage was described by her La Habra neighbors Tuesday as a happy and “lovely mom” who recently seemed withdrawn and would stay inside.

Sonia Hermosillo, 31, was booked Monday at the Orange County Jail on one count of attempted murder. She is being held without bail on an immigration hold and was placed on suicide watch, according to KTLA.  Her 7-month-old son remains in extremely critical condition and might not survive, authorities said.

On Tuesday, no one was home at the apartment on Idaho Street in La Habra where the family lived. Neighbors who lived in the complex, a family-friendly place surrounding a courtyard landscaped with trees and shrubs, said the family had lived there for just two months. They had two little girls as well as the baby boy, and Hermosillo stayed home with the children, they said.

"You would never hear them yelling or arguing. It was just a normal, peaceful family," said Teresita Alcala, 18, the apartment manager's daughter. Alcala said she believed Hermosillo and Medina were first-generation immigrants.

Sonia Herrera, 40, who lived downstairs from the Medina family, said she had known Hermosillo for about a year, because their children went to school together. She remembered seeing Hermosillo riding bicycles and scooters with her daughters.

"She was very happy when she was pregnant with her baby," Herrera said. "She was a lovely mom with her girls."

But Herrera and Alcala said they had noticed a change in Hermosillo in recent weeks. She seemed withdrawn and stayed inside.

"I am so sad," Herrera said. "For me, I think she's sick. I don't think she wanted to hurt" the baby.

Police received a 911 call at 6:20 p.m. Monday from a man who said he'd seen a baby fall from the parking garage at Children's Hospital of Orange County. Using surveillance video, investigators focused on a 2000 Chevy Blazer that was seen leaving the garage minutes after the incident.

The Blazer was linked to Hermosillo. At the same time, La Habra police had received a call from Hermosillo's husband reporting that she and their son were missing. Shortly after 10 p.m., a patrol officer spotted the Blazer driving past the hospital. Hermosillo was taken into custody without incident and was cooperative with authorities.

Hermosillo's husband, Noe Medina, says his wife was hospitalized in May for depression and was not allowed to be alone with the baby, according to KTLA Channel 5. Medina says Hermosillo grabbed the baby Monday while he was watching the couple's two other children at a home in La Habra.

Note: An earlier version of this post said the incident occurred Sunday.


Mother of thrown baby placed on immigration hold, suicide watch

Mother accused of throwing baby from garage returned to scene

Mother threw baby off hospital parking structure, police allege

-- Abby Sewell in La Habra

Photos: Sonia Hermosillo, left, and Noe Medina Jr. Credits: Orange Police Department, Medina family