updated 12/13/2006 12:20:31 PM ET 2006-12-13T17:20:31

A woman who reported her young son missing over the weekend was booked on suspicion of murder after sheriff’s investigators found his small body stuffed in a trash bin near the family’s home, authorities said Wednesday.

Erika Panyavong, 30, told investigators Tuesday night that 19-month-old Keithan’s death was an accident, said Capt. Clay Reynard, a San Diego County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

“The baby was sick, she gave the baby some medication and the next thing she knew the baby wasn’t breathing, Reynard said.

On Sunday afternoon, Panyavong had told investigators a different story.

The parents said Keithan disappeared sometime after he was put to bed Saturday night. Their missing child report triggering a search that included canine squads, a helicopter team and about 50 volunteers.

After extensive interviews, Panyavong eventually told authorities the baby was dead, Reynard said. He said she told investigators she placed the baby in a black trash bag, then put the bag in a Dumpster in this northern San Diego County city.

“Detectives opened the trash bin and what they observed was consistent with what the mother described, and we believe this is the location of the baby’s body,” Reynard said.

Panyavong was taken into custody late Tuesday and booked on suspicion of murder, Lt. William Donahue said Wednesday. She was being held without bail. No other details were immediately available. The baby’s father was not arrested.

Keithan’s older siblings, ages 12 and 7, were taken from their home by county child protective services Monday night.

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