A couple was sentenced Friday after admitting they killed their newborn baby girl and left her in a box under the 15 Freeway in Corona, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said.
Joshua Benson, 18, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison and Shawna Joelle Andritch, 23, was sentenced to 15 years to life, authorities said.
Benson had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, while Andritch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder back in August, more than a year after the child’s body was found.
Their daughter, known as “Baby Jane Doe,” was left inside a 38-count corn dog box that was discovered by a landscaper on July 27, 2018, under the freeway near Cajalco Road.
She was “still covered in afterbirth” and had been wrapped in a men’s T-shirt, the DA’s office said. A stuffed animal and blanket were also left in the box.
The couple was arrested about five months after the child’s body was found.
Corona police investigators determined Benson and Andritch planned to “kill the baby from the beginning,” the DA’s office said.
About 70 people gathered in December 2018 to mourn Baby Jane at a funeral service organized in part by police officers and firefighters at Sunnyslope Cemetery, AP reported.
Authorities did not provide information on how the baby girl died.
Corona police have said there are several “safe surrender sites” where parents can safely give up an infant within 72 hours of birth — no questions asked. Those places include hospitals, fire stations and police departments.