BELLFLOWER (CBSLA) — A missing Northern California father was named Tuesday as a person of interest in the death of his infant daughter, whose body was located behind a Bellflower mortuary.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified the baby Tuesday as 8-month-old Alexia Rose Echeverria, daughter of 22-year-old Alexander Echeverria, who was named a person of interest in the case.
A worker who was cleaning the grounds of a mortuary in the 10300 block of Alondra Boulevard found the body of the baby girl near a dumpster a little after 10:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD).
Investigators believe the girl died in Sacramento, LASD reports. The investigation has now been handed over to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
LASD Sheriff's Det. Steve Blagg told reporters Monday the infant was found "in a child's car seat, car seat was upright, and had a blanket partially covering the baby."
There was no visible sign of trauma, Blagg said. The coroner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Detectives are canvassing the area for surveillance video.
"We're talking to potential family members, but again, ongoing investigation, don't want to divulge, who or how we came in contact with them," Bragg disclosed.
Alexia's mother, Karla Alvarado, who lives with Echeverria, told reporters Tuesday that Echeverria said he was making a trip to San Francisco to pick up his brother. He later called Alvarado crying, but didn't offer any additional details.
Alvarado says she then demanded that Echeverria return home with their daughter or she would call the police.
"He was never gonna be on his way, he just wanted to win some time to keep running," Alvarado said.
Alvarado says a family member spoke with Echeverria before they disappeared and described what happened.
"He was playing with her, here in Sacramento, and he threw her in the air and she fell and she wasn't waking up," Alvarado said.
Alvarado said the Echeverria told that family member that he drove to the hospital first but instead decided to drive south — 400 miles away, where his mother lives.
According to a sheriff's bulletin, he had last been seen Friday at 10:30 p.m. with his daughter Alexia. However, it's unclear if she was alive at that time.
"He just left her there like she was trash or something," Alvarado said. "I just want them to find him. I want to know exactly how my baby passed away, why he left her there, why he couldn't face the consequences."
Echeverria is described as 5-foot-6, weighing 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a gray colored 2014 Volkswagen Jetta with California license #7FFT866. He is considered at-risk due to suicidal statements.
Anyone with information on either case should call Sacramento County Sheriff's investigators at 916-874-5021.
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