The mysterious death of a baby found covered in white powder yesterday was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department's Abused Child Section, an official there said. He referred further questions to the LAPD's Media Relations unit and disconnected a phone call.
The 2-month-old was found covered in the substance, later determined to be "baby product," after police responded to a report of a woman screaming in a parking lot behind a south-of-downtown market at 1:45 a.m., said Officer Sal Ramirez.
Cops found the baby, an 8-year-old girl and a woman in her mid to late 20s covered in white powder, he said. All three were taken to a hospital, where the 2-month-old was declared dead, Ramirez said. The 8-year-old was in critical condition, he said, and the woman was "stable."
Ed Wintner, assistant chief at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, said the baby was reported dead at 2:30 a.m. at County USC Medical Center. First responders reported that the powder was concentrated baby formula, he said. An autopsy on the 2-month-old was pending.
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The three were found outside a parked vehicle in a lot that's behind a Numero Uno Market, police said. LAPD Capt. Michael Rimkunas of the LAPD's Newton Division told reporters that the adult was believed to be the mother of both children.
A HazMat team responded to the location because there was so much white powder — the source of which was then unknown — at the scene, the captain said.
"Motive and cause is yet to be determined," Ramirez says.