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News Release

Friday, March 22, 2002

Media Relations

Owner of Day Care Center Arrested for Child Endangering

Los Angeles: On Wednesday, March 20, 2002, Omalabake Martinez was arrested at her residence in North Hills, California, on charges of Child Endangering.

On Sunday, March 3, 2002, at approximately 4:45 PM, Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded to a reported drowning that occurred at a private residence located at 8407 Maya Place, in North Hills. Paramedics learned that a female, 19 month-old infant had fallen into a fishpond in the rear yard of the location, which is a licensed privately owned day-care center. The infant was transported to Valley Presbyterian Hospital in extremely critical condition. Efforts to revive her continued into the following day however, she was pronounced dead on March 4, at 5:30 PM.

Detectives from Devonshire Homicide assumed responsibility for the investigation and the circumstances surrounding the infant’s death. The case was investigated in conjunction with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Los Angeles County Coroner personnel performed the post-mortem examination. The cause of death was attributed to drowning, and the death was classified as "accidental".

Subsequent to a lengthy investigation, a search warrant for the residence was secured, in conjunction with a probable cause arrest warrant for Omolabake Martinez, the twenty-nine-year old owner of the day-care center. The warrants were served at the residence on March 20, 2002 by Devonshire Homicide Detectives, who were accompanied by the assigned Deputy District Attorneys and representatives of the California Department of Social Services and the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety.

Ms. Martinez was arrested without incident and booked at Van Nuys Jail on a charge of Child Endangering. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has filed one count of Manslaughter, and four counts of Child Endangering, against Ms. Martinez. Ms Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned in San Fernando Court, Division 130, on March 22, 2002. The deceased child has been identified as Silaedy Richardson.

This Press Release was prepared by Public Information Officer Alex Baez, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.



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