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No Murder Charge for Mom Accused in Death of Infant

Samantha Green, 23, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 3-week-old infant.
Samantha Green
Samantha GreenYolo County Sheriff Department

A Northern California woman on Wednesday was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 3-week-old infant, a week after the child’s body was found in a swampy area near Sacramento, authorities said.

Samantha Green, 23, was also charged with abusing or endangering the health of a child. The charge of involuntary manslaughter indicates she acted "without malice." Green pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday, according to the prosecutors office. The Yolo County sheriff has previously said she would be charged with murder, but prosecutors would make the final call.

Documents filed by the Yolo County District Attorney Wednesday don’t detail what allegedly happened in the days and hours before the infant’s body was found in heavy underbrush in a slough northwest of the city Feb. 25.

Green and her baby were reported missing Monday, and she showed up at Knight’s Landing northwest of Sacramento Tuesday without the child and called 911, NBC station KCRA reported. Searchers found the infant the next day.

The baby died of either hypothermia or drowning, a coroner ruled. Green's family have told KCRA that that she said someone else is to blame for her child's death and her disappearance, but Prieto told KCRA Saturday that Green "was the sole individual responsible for the death of her child," without going into details.

— Phil Helsel