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Yolo County Sheriff: Body Of Infant Found

Thursday, Feb. 26 7 a.m. -- Police say the body of a baby found in a swampy area in Northern California is that of a 20-day-old boy who was reported missing Tuesday. A Yolo County Sheriff's spokesman says there is no early indication that the death of the infant, Justice Rees, is a homicide.

The baby's body was found near the Sacramento River. Justice's 23-year-old mother was also reported missing Monday but turned up late Tuesday afternoon on a nearby levee along the river.

3 p.m. -- The Yolo County Sheriff's Office released the following statement to the media: 

At approximately 5:30 last night a citizen of Knights Landing, in rural Yolo County, called 911 stating he had found a young woman crying and hysterical on the east levee of Ridge Cut Slough near the entrance to the town.

Deputies responded and identified the woman as 23 year old Samantha Green of Woodland, and that she and her 20 day-old baby, Justice Rees, were reported as being missing persons out of Woodland since Monday. Though Green was cooperative with deputies, due to her upset condition and her unfamiliarity with the area, she was unable to provide the exact location where she and the baby had been other than to say he had been with her near the slough. Deputies immediately initiated a search of the area for the missing baby. A vehicle affiliated with Green was located west of the slough in a residential area. Deputies then requested assistance from outside agencies to conduct an extensive search of the area of the slough between where Green was located and where the vehicle was found.

Throughout the night, deputies kept up the search and were assisted by the Woodland Police Department, Knights Landing Fire, Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol. Joining the search as of early this morning were personnel from Marin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, investigators from the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. Additional resources included members of the State’s Office of Emergency Services and search dogs from Napa Police and the California Rescue Dog Association. Since last night, 95 rescuers have participated in the search.

At about 9:50 AM this morning, Yolo Sheriff’s deputies from our Marine Patrol Search and Rescue unit located the body of an infant on the south bank of the slough in area thick with undergrowth. The Yolo County Coroner’s Office has responded to the scene and is taking over the investigation as it applies to the cause and manner of death of the infant. Sheriff’s detectives are still conducting further investigation into the rest of this case.

The family of the missing infant have been notified that a body was found, but pending additional testing, the body has not yet been positively identified.

Foul play is not suspected at this time, but the investigation will be continuing. We will provide updates and positive identity of the body as information becomes available.  

11:40 a.m. -- The Yolo County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the body of an infant has been found Wednesday morning. Authorities have been searching for 3-week-old Justice Rees. 

The baby's 23-year-old mother, Samantha Green, was also considered missing for a time, but turned up late Tuesday afternoon. Police say it's not clear where she was, but she is safe.

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

10:31 a.m. -- Multiple news agencies are reporting Wednesday that the body of an infant has been found in Yolo County. It is unclear if the baby is 3-week-old Justice Rees, who officials have been searching for since Tuesday. 

7 a.m. -- Yolo County Sheriff's Deputies are searching a slough near Knights Landing for a missing newborn baby .

Three-week-old infant Justice Rees was reported missing late Tuesday afternoon.

The infant's mother, 22-year-old Samantha Green, was missing Monday and turned up yesterday without her son.

The Woodland Police Department responded to Green's panicked 911 call last night.

She was transported to a Yolo County hospital for treatment.

The Yolo County Sheriff's Deputies searched the knee-deep waters of Ridge Cut Slough into the small hours of the morning with help from dogs and helicopters.

About 70 volunteers assembled to search the area again in the daylight Wednesday.

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