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Sheriff: Samantha Green Will Face Murder Charge In Death Of Baby Justice

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto formally announced the arrest of Samantha Green during a press conference on Saturday.

Prieto said Green, 23, was arrested at 12:15 a.m. on Saturday, for the death of her son, 20-day-old Justice Rees.


Investigators previously indicated Green and Justice were the only ones in the car, and that she was likely not the victim of an attack. Prieto reaffirmed that on Saturday.

"There is no other additional evidence indicating someone else is involved, at this point," Prieto said.

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Green and Rees went missing on Feb. 21 when they didn't arrive at a family event. A frantic search ensued, and on Tuesday night, Green emerged from a Knights Landing slough on Tuesday night, telling a man who lived nearby to call 911 and that her baby was dead.

Search crews worked through the night on Tuesday to find Justice, but it wasn't until Wednesday morning that they found the baby's body.

baby found

The Yolo County coroner said on Thursday that while an official cause of death for Baby Justice would still be weeks away, drowning and hypothermia were two possibilities. Justice's grandmother told CBS13 she was relieved the autopsy did not reveal obvious signs of trauma or injury to the baby.

Detectives indicated Green was much more responsive during a questioning session late Friday night before her arrest.

Prieto would not comment on the state of Green when she was discovered or during questioning. When asked about her mental state, or if she was depressed, the sheriff said that is an issue for experts beyond the sheriff's department to tackle.

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"Before she seemed—I don't want to use the term hesitant or evasive. She just wasn't sure. But I think that probably had more to do with her physical condition," Prieto said, saying she was dehydrated.

Green will face a murder charge, but it's up to the Yolo County District Attorney 's Office to determine which one, Prieto said.

Baby Justice Rees
Justice Rees (Credit: Facebook)

The investigation has been hard on the community and his deputies, Prieto said.

"This is probably one of the Top 5 worst situations I've personally been involved with or seen," he said. "It touched our souls. We wanted to make sure we were really slow and methodical in coming to this determination."

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Prieto also sympathized with Green's family as they process the death of Baby Justice, and the arrest of his mother.

"I can only imagine what her family is going through," Prieto said.

For more on this story, visit our Baby Justice page.

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