Napa, Calif - A northern California woman and her boyfriend
were arrested after a search Sunday in connection with the death of the woman’s
three-year-old daughter, reports CBS SF Bay Area.
Sara Krueger, 23, and Scott Warner, 26, were arrested after a tipster recognized the wanted couple at a restaurant about 30 miles south of where Krueger lived in Napa, reports the station. Krueger’s daughter, 3, was found dead in Krueger’s bed in her empty apartment Saturday after an anonymous caller reportedly requested a welfare check there.
A few hours earlier, witnesses had seen Krueger and Warner leaving the apartment with luggage, police said.
The two were questioned and booked on suspicion of murder with special circumstances and assault on a child resulting in death. Lt. Debbie Peecook said she didn't know whether they have retained an attorney.
The child, whose name was not released, showed signs of having been sexually assaulted and blunt force trauma, investigators said.
Her biological father, who is serving time at San Quentin State Prison, was notified of her death.
The property manager at Krueger's apartment building told the Napa Valley Register that in recent months, police visited the mother's residence for several disturbances, including late-night noise, slamming doors and neighbors reporting possible physical abuse of the child.
Warner "moved in about 10 months ago, and it all went downhill from there," Elizabeth Chechourka said.
"Management sent a letter to them about 2 1/2 weeks ago saying, 'The authorities know about you, and you need to shape up or you're gonna lose your housing,'" she added.
Peecook said Napa officers had made several welfare checks at Krueger's home, most recently last week, but none of the visits resulted in an arrest.
She said she didn't know whether Napa County Child Protective Services had visited the apartment in response to any neighbors' complaints.
Peecook told reporters there were “indications of past drug use and drug offenses” by Warner and Krueger, but did not give details, reports the Napa Valley Register.
A family friend who often baby-sat the girl was baffled by news of the girl's death and her mother's arrest.
"Never saw her raise a hand to the girl. It was like pulling teeth getting her to somewhat discipline her," Kindra Kunkel told reporters.
"This is not Sara; this is not the Sara I know," said Kunkel. "She fought so hard for her little girl."