Maria Mae Betts, 11/8/2008

Name: Maria Mae Betts

Synopsis: A man found a newborn girl in a Dumpster in a south Turlock parking lot. Maria, the baby, appeared dead when police arrived at the Save Mart parking lot in the 1600 block of Lander Avenue at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. She could not be revived at an area hospital.

Donations can be made to HELP of Stanislaus County at P.O. Box 579595, Modesto 95357. Donations also are being accepted at Valley First Credit Union for the "Baby Jane Doe" fund. Donations can be made through PayPal at HELP's Web site.

Motivation: Unknown

Suspect: Police arrested Jessica Mae Betts, 19, of Turlock on Nov. 20 on suspicion of first-degree murder. Someone walked into the Police Department that morning and gave police a tip that led them to Betts, later identified by DNA as the baby's mother.

Status: Betts is being on $1 million bail at the Public Safety Center on suspicion of homicide. To find current custody information and upcoming court dates, visit the In Custody Report (PDF).

Authorities ask anyone with information about this homicide to call Detective Sergio Perez at 668-5550, ext. 6744, or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips on the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

If you would like to submit photos of this victim or have other information to share, please email

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