“There were signs of obvious head trauma, and that led the grandfather, the father of the suspect, to take the child to the hospital, and then the hospital called us,” Balian said.
Throughout the day on March 5, the girl had been in the care of her mother, who called the child’s grandfather because the baby was crying, Balian said. When the baby’s grandmother and grandfather arrived home, they noticed the baby wasn’t acting normally and took her to the hospital, Balian said.
Police arrested Ana Regina Lim that day on suspicion of child endangerment, and they released her on $100,000 bail.
Balian declined discussing what alleged action on Lim’s part led to the arrest, but said they had good reason to suspect her.
“Through our investigation and in speaking to numerous family members, it was determined that she played a big part in the baby’s injuries,” Balian said.
Those injuries have doctors keeping Mikea alive, even though the baby’s body cannot sustain her own life, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
“We were advised [Tuesday] that the child is brain-dead as a result of the head trauma,” Lorenz said. “At this particular point, she continues to be sustained until there is a determination on whether or not they are able to use the child as an organ donor. But that has to be determined by the Department of Children’s Services or the family.”
Under the state’s penal code, in such a circumstance, police can proceed with an arrest on a charge of murder, Lorenz said.
And police believe that’s what happened.
“The officers and the detectives were confident that a serious crime had been committed and so this turned into a child abuse case, and then to a murder case,” Balian said.
Wednesday, police called Lim back down to the police station, where she was arrested on suspicion of murder.
“When things like this happen, it’s a sad story,” Balian said. “Nobody wants to hear about cases like this, but they do happen.”
The whereabouts of the baby’s father are unknown, Balian said.
Lim is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Glendale Superior Court.
She was being held in Glendale Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
RYAN CARTER is City Editor. He may be reached at (818) 637-3220 or by e-mail at ryan.carter@ latimes.com.