SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. -- DNA testing by Westchester County officials has led to the arrest of a Spring Valley woman believed to be the mother of the infant boy named "Baby Angel" who was found in an Elmsford recycling plant last month.
Spring Valley police arrested Maria Guaman-Gumana, 23, Tuesday after matching DNA samples taken in the Spring Valley neighborhood where the body of the infant was placed in a garbage dumpster.
he is accused of smothering her newborn to death and dumping the baby’s body in a recycling bin outside a convenience store on North Myrtle Avenue, off Maple Avenue on Nov. 12. The baby was found several hours later at Brookfield Recycling in Elmsford.
The woman, who police identified as a Equadorian national, was arraigned and charged with murder in the second degree and sent to Rockland County Jail without bail. Her next appearance in court Monday at noon.
Westchester County Police spokesman Kieran O'Leary said that DNA work was done by Westchester County Labs and Research, which is actually a part of the Medical Examiner’s Office.
"The DNA analysis and other forensic work done by the Westchester County forensic lab were critical to solving this case," O'Leary said.
Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams said he was told by police that DNA samples developed by the Westchester County Police matched the woman with the infant.
"This was the result of great police work and hopefully brings some closure to a tragic death," said Williams. "Evidently, the woman's DNA matched the samples and the arrest was made. Finding the baby here was a terrible event for us. The investigators did an amazing job solving this case."
The police and coroner's reports said the baby was murdered shortly after birth then discarded in a dumpster at a deli in Spring Valley. That dumpster was then emptied and the contents sent to Elmsford for recycling where it was found by workers on November.
The case was first investigated by police from Westchester County police and Elmsford then Spring Valley police after evidence of the origin of the baby was discovered at the recycling center. The Westchester County Police forensic lab developed numerous DNA profiles that eventually led to the identification and arrest.
Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica said at a Wednesday press meeting that the woman was in the country illegally and had previously been deported in 2008 and 2009, but returned.
Police said the suspect was identified through DNA testing but that several tips called in to police pointed to her and her place of residence.
The police report said Guaman-Guaman lived with seven other women in an extended family with similar first and last names. The other women reportedly did not know their housemate was pregnant.