A Corona couple pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering their newborn daughter, known as “Baby Jane Doe,” a little over a year after the infant was found inside a cardboard box under the 15 Freeway, prosecutors said.
Joshua Benson, 18, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and Shawna Joelle Andritch, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office. Both are expected to be sentenced on Oct. 18.
Benson faces 25 years to life in state prison while Andritch faces a sentence of 15 years to life.
The baby girl was found by a landscaper inside a yellow 38-count corn dog box that was left under the 15 Freeway in Corona, near Cajalco Road, on July 27, 2018, authorities said. Police were called to the scene and found the dead infant “still covered in afterbirth,” the DA’s office said in a news release.
“The baby had been left there with a stuffed animal and a blanket, wrapped in a men’s t-shirt that Benson later admitted was his,” the DA news release reads.
The Corona Police Department reached out to the public for tips as they investigated the baby’s death in the months following. Authorities eventually received information leading to the arrests of Benson and Andritch about five months later.
Dozens of people in Riverside County paid tribute to Baby Jane with a funeral service in December 2018, just a week before her parents’ arrests.
The DA’s office said further investigation by police determined to the pair had planned “to kill the baby from the beginning.”
Although Benson was juvenile at the time of the killing — he was 17 years old — a Riverside County Juvenile Court judge found him unfit for juvenile court and had his case transferred to adult court on June 25, 2019.