A woman pleaded not guilty Monday to attempting to kidnap a newborn baby in Santa Ana while posing as a social worker last month.
Sara Orozco Magana allegedly arrived at a home along Evergreen Street, near Warner Avenue, on June 7 and told a mother that she needed to take her 1-week-old son into custody, authorities said.
Magana, 38, was charged last week with felony charges of attempted kidnapping of a child under the age of 14 and attempting to take a minor from a parent or legal custodian.
Santa Ana police have said Magana falsely told the mother her name was “Mayela Ortega” and declined to give identification proving she was a government employee sent to the home.
When the mother continued asking for more information, Magana told her a doctor may have reported abuse, according to prosecutors. Magana also allegedly threatened to call police if the mother didn’t hand over her child.
“I told her if the sheriff comes and he has to arrest me, then he can arrest me. But I am not going to give you my child,” the mother told KTLA at the time.
Magana told the mother there wasn’t enough room in her car when the mother offered to go with her, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
Cell phone video of Magana taken by the mother’s sister was later released by police. Authorities said Magana turned herself in after release of the footage and was positively identified by the baby’s mother as the suspect.
Bertagna said investigators were able to determine there is no evidence showing Magana is a social worker.
She was released from jail on June 10 after posting $100,000 bail, prosecutors said, and is scheduled to appear in court on July 17.