Police: Mother Intentionally Drowned her 2-Month-Old

FRESNO, Calif. 23-year-old Gabriela Espinosa is in the Fresno County Jail facing murder and child cruelty charges in the death of her son, Gabriel.

Espinosa is from Fresno. She was staying in room 156 at the Economy Inn on a temporary basis.

Police say before Saturday, Espinosa had no criminal history, she had never been committed for a mental illness, and she had never been involved with Child Protective Services. But now she faces murder charges.

Fresno police say 23-year-old Gabriela Espinosa admitted to intentionally drowning her 2-month-old baby boy inside this motel room in Northwest Fresno.

The ordeal started around 4-am Saturday when Espinosa was seen driving erratically along Highway 41.

Investigators say she had just left the scene of a crash she was involved in at 41 near McKinley.

The California highway patrol chased Espinosa and eventually caught up with her after she got into another collision at 41 and Herndon.

"The CHP interviewed miss Espinosa and at some point, she told them she had 3 children at a nearby hotel, the Economy Inn at 4290 North Blackstone and that she had drowned her 2-month old."

A CHP officer made the tragic discovery just after 7-am.

Espinosa's other children, a 4 and 6 year old, were inside the room but were not hurt. They were handed over to Child Protective Services.

David Weaver is staying in a room near where the baby was found. He was there when the coroner removed the baby's body. "Well, it was obviously a small child. It's heartbreaking to see the little kid come out like that whether it was natural, it's heartbreaking. If it's violent, it's sad."

Molly Morin works at the Economy Inn. She too, is still shaken up by the news. "Oh, I can't believe it. It's scary. It's so sad. A baby."

This is the 17th homicide in Fresno this year. Last year at this time, there were 11. "But what's really unique in this situation isn't just that an innocent child died, but that a child died at the hands of his own mother."

Espinosa was taken to the hospital after her arrest. She was treated for some internal bleeding caused by the two car crashes.

Police say they are still waiting to see if she was under the influence when she was pulled over. The baby's autopsy will be completed tomorrow.

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