A 23-year-old San Jose woman was arrested for the fatal stabbing of her 7-month-old baby in a rural area near Livermore on Saturday, according to East Bay Regional Park District Police.
The East Bay Regional Park District Police Department identified the homicide suspect as Ashley Newston, 23 of San Jose. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail on the charge of murder and is being held without bond. Investigators are unclear as to the motive and are continuing their interviews with family and friends.
Police received a call reporting a vehicle accident at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday on Arroyo Road near the Wente Vineyards, park police said.
Officers from the EBRPD Police and the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene and found a badly damaged 2013 Honda sedan abandoned on the roadway near the EBRPD Camp Arroyo facility.
The car's engine was running and there was an empty child car seat inside, park police said.
"She was seen running the car into objects up beyond the road, smashing the car, both the front end and the rear end, so there is extensive damage to the car," East Bay Park Police Chief Tim Anderson said. "So the officers obviously knew there had been a vehicle accident, but they didn't know anything associated like this, a homicide, until she came walking down the roadway with her 7-month-old child."
Officers searched the area, including Arroyo Park, Lake Del Valle Dam, Wente Vineyards and the Veteran's Administration Hospital, but could not locate the driver.
At about 12:30 p.m., as officers were preparing to the tow vehicle away, believing it to be a hit an run collision, a woman carrying a baby approached them, according to park police.
Officers contacted the woman, whose name has not yet been released to the public, and noticed the baby was non-responsive, police said.
The officers attempted to resuscitate the baby, but were unsuccessful. The baby, who suffered multiple stab wounds, was declared deceased by paramedics at the scene, park police said.
According to park police, the woman told the officers she had stabbed the baby and was subsequently arrested.
Alameda County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab personnel responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. A knife, believed to be the weapon in the homicide, was found at the scene, park police said.
The mother was found suffering from an apparent self-inflicted stab wound to her wrist and was treated at a nearby hospital before being released into police custody.
Park police detectives contacted the woman's family members in San Jose in an attempt to determine a motive for the fatal stabbing. Detectives have determined that the woman had a history of depression but are still working to determine a motive.
Detectives believe the woman acted alone, but park police detectives and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office are continuing to interview her to gain more information.
The deceased victim was turned over to the Alameda County coroner's bureau and a forensic examination is scheduled for later this week.
Anyone who may have seen the suspect or her vehicle in the Arroyo Del Valle area on Saturday morning is urged to contact EBRPD investigators at (510) 881-1833.