North Hollywood: On Wednesday, August 15, 2001, at approximately 7:45 p.m., detectives from the Abused Child Unit responded to Children’s Hospital to conduct a murder investigation. Three-year-old Maria Mejia was transported to Children’s Hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department’s Rescue Ambulance. It was determined that the victim had suffered severe physical abuse and succumbed to her injuries during surgery.
The actual cause of death is pending the outcome of the Coroner’s autopsy.
The investigation revealed that the child’s stepmother, Genara Valle, 33 years of age, resident of North Hollywood, was the sole care taker of the victim and had inflicted the injuries. Valle was arrested and booked for murder and bail is set at $1,000,000.00.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.