Police discovered a young boy dead inside a Covina townhouse early Friday and detained his mother after she was found running in the street, splattered with blood, authorities said.
The woman was taken for psychiatric evaluation and expected to face a murder charge, Covina Police Department Sgt. Dan Rodriguez said.
She was later identified by a friend as "Michelle," which detectives confirmed although her full name has not yet been officially released. The friend said her son was named "Elvis" and was 2 years old, which authorities also confirmed.
The investigation began about 3:20 a.m. when a patrol sergeant noticed a "partially clothed" woman running in the middle of the street in the 300 block of North 2nd Avenue, police said in a written statement.
"Officers observed that she had what appeared to be blood spatter on parts of her body, but that she had no injuries," according to the statement.
The woman refused to say who she was or what she was doing, police said. She attempted to run from officers, but failed to get away.
"She made statements that led officers to believe there might be a potential victim whose whereabouts were not yet known at the time because of her refusal to provide any information," the statement said.
Police took the woman to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation and managed to figure out where she lived.
Officers went to the woman's home in the 100 block of East Italia Street, officials said. They encountered a small fire burning in the kitchen of the home.
Upon entering the home, officers discovered the body of the young boy, Rodriguez said.
Investigators declined to comment on what type of trauma the victim may have suffered, he said. They are currently working to track down the boy's father.
The friend who identified the woman said she is a single mother who loves her son and always appeared to be a great mother. She became emotional upon hearing of the toddler's death.
No one else was inside the home, police added.
The woman's name is expected to be released once the psychiatric evaluation process was completed and she is formally booked, Rodriguez said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Covina police Detective Tim Statler at 626-384-5622, or the on-duty watch commander at 626-384-5665. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.