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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday April 10th, 2019 :: 07:08 p.m. PDT


Media Release - Update Re: Recovered Fetus

Nature of Incident: Follow-Up to Recovered Fetus
Report Number: 19-52345
Location: Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant
9600 Santa Rosa Road, Santa Rosa Valley
Date & Time: April 6, 2019 @ 08:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit
Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

On April 6, 2019, at approximately 8:00 AM, Deputies from the Sheriff’s Moorpark and Thousand Oaks Patrol Stations responded to a report of a fetus found in a metal storage bin at the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant. 
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.  The initial investigation revealed that the fetus entered the sewer system at an unknown location in the northern portion of the City of Thousand Oaks.  Once the fetus arrived at the Hill Canyon facility, it went through a sorting process where solid and liquid materials are separated.  All solid material removed from the incoming sewer system is sorted into a metal storage bin.  The fetus was discovered by a Hill Canyon employee after it had been sorted into the metal storage bin.
On April 8, 2019, an autopsy was conducted on the fetus at the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office which revealed that this was a non-viable premature male fetus.  It was determined that the fetus was not capable of surviving on its own outside of the womb.
The Sheriff’s Office is not investigating this incident as a crime as we do not anticipate this developing into a criminal complaint against the mother.  Instead, we are concerned for the mothers’ physical and mental wellbeing as there is a possibility the mother is in need of medical attention.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking that any member of the public with information about this incident contact Detective Ryan Poynter at (805) 384-4741 or by email at
Prepared by: Sergeant Rick Harwood  
News Release Date: April 10, 2019  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Marta Bugarin
(805) 947-8052
Approved by:
Booking Photo Release:
Captain Jeff Miller
 YES     NO  

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93009

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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