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THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
By DENISSE SALAZAR
Published: Aug. 23, 2011 Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.
ORANGE – A woman who her husband says never accepted their 7-month-old son as “normal” was arrested on suspicion of throwing the boy from the fourth floor of a Children’s Hospital of Orange County parking structure and is undergoing a psychological evaluation in the jail’s medical ward while her son clings to life.
Sonia Hermosillo, 31, of La Habra is accused of tossing her baby over the railing of the parking structure about 6:20 p.m. Monday, Orange police Sgt. Dan Adams said.
“I don’t know what happened yesterday,” said the infant’s father, Noe Medina, who was visibly emotional.
The infant, who received therapy twice a week at CHOC for conditions he was born with, remained in the intensive-care unit Tuesday afternoon at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Medina said his son suffered head trauma in the fall and is in critical condition.
Medina said his wife, who suffers from postpartum depression, grabbed their son and left their La Habra home about 5:30 p.m. while he was taking a quick shower and his daughters, 7 and 10, went outside.
“She found herself alone with the baby, and I think she saw the moment as her opportunity to grab the baby, get the car and leave,” Medina said in Spanish on Tuesday afternoon at the hospital.
Medina, 29, said his wife was hospitalized in June after she said she didn’t want their son, who was diagnosed with congenital muscular torticollis – a twisting of the neck to one side. The infant also wore a helmet to help correct his plagiocephaly, also known as flat-head syndrome. It was unknown if Noe, named after his father, was wearing a helmet when he was tossed over the railing.
Noe, his father said, received physical therapy every Tuesday and Thursday at CHOC and was showing signs of improvement.
“She didn’t look at our son as normal,” Medina said. “She didn’t accept him. She didn’t accept that he was like this.”
Surveillance cameras in the parking structure Monday captured the license plate of a tan 2000 Chevy Blazer, which was driven by a woman and registered to an address in La Habra, Orange police Sgt. Adams said. Detectives then received a report from a man who reported his wife and infant son missing, and determined Hermosillo had been driving the Blazer that matched the one in the surveillance video.
About 10:15 p.m., Hermosillo’s Blazer was spotted by a patrol officer driving past CHOC on Main Street. The officer stopped the Blazer and arrested Hermosillo. An empty child seat was found in the vehicle, Adams said.
Hermosillo was cooperative during questioning but showed no emotion, Adams said.
Hermosillo was booked on suspicion of attempted murder at Orange County Jail and is being held without bail. She is in the medical ward under psychological evaluation, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. She is also on an immigration hold, he said.
Court records show Hermosillo pleaded guilty to four traffic violations in La Habra in 2008, including driving without a valid license and having no proof of insurance.
Susan Kang Schroeder, the district attorney’s chief of staff, said prosecutors have not received the case from detectives.
Adams said they expect to present their case to prosecutors Wednesday.
Medina said his wife was taking medication for postpartum depression and went to her first therapy session Monday morning at Mariposa Women and Family Center in Orange.
Medina said his wife showed improvement in recent weeks and “began to trust her.”
With tears in his eyes Medina said: “I want to know my son is going to be fine, and then I’ll think about what to do next. I have to stay strong for my daughters.”
Register reporters Sean Greene and Salvador Hernandez contributed to this report.