Mother Arrested in Death of Her Infant

Mother Arrested in Death of Her Infant

YOLO COUNTY—Police have arrested the mother of an infant found dead in a swampy area near the Sacramento River in a remote area of Yolo County.

Samantha Green, 23, was arrested on Saturday, February 28 at 12:15 a.m., and charged with one open count of murder in the death of her 20-day-old son Justice Rees. She was found disheveled and disoriented on Tuesday, February 24  near the Sacramento River in the town of Knights Landing, about 30 miles east of Sacramento.

Image of Ridge Cut Slough from Google Maps.

Image of Ridge Cut Slough from Google Maps.

The body of her baby was found the next day under heavy brush along Ridge Cut Slough, a remote area near Knights Landing after an extensive search by emergency workers on foot and by boat and helicopter. The coroner said the infant appears either to have drowned or died of hypothermia.

Family members said they believed Green has been abducted. However, Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto said that investigators found no evidence of a kidnapping.

“At this point here, we feel she was the only individual involved in her child’s death.  There’s no other additional evidence indicating that somebody else was involved.”

Green’s parents said, “Our family is grieving not only for the loss of our grandson Justice, but also the possible loss of our daughter Sami Green. She has never been in trouble with the law. We know in our heart that Sami would never do anything to intentionally harm her newborn son, Justice.”

Green told authorities she and her son were abducted Monday and that she spent hours screaming for help from near the river, a story that  investigators say doesn’t hold up.

“She made comments about how she was there for so many hours screaming and hollering,” Yolo Sheriff Ed Prieto said during a news conference. “We were able to determine that perhaps (that) didn’t happen.”

Green is being held without bail in Yolo County jail in Woodland and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, March 4 at 11:00 a.m.

Samantha Green and Frank Rees (Facebook)

Samantha Green and Frank Rees (Facebook)

Meanwhile, it was reported that the baby’s father, Frank Rees, was arrested Sunday evening on unrelated misdemeanor warrants, related to DUI and driving with a license suspended for DUI. Records show he was arrested in 2010 for driving under the influence and child endangerment. He was arrested more recently in March 2014 for driving with a suspended license and outstanding warrants.

Concerned about both of them, Rees had posted a message on his Facebook page on Tuesday, February 24 “If anyone sees Samantha Green my beautiful fiancé please tell her that EVERYONE is worried sick about her and Justice. We love you Samantha. Just come home babe. I miss you and our son sooooo much. Whatever it is you want different we can fix. I love you momma.” He and her family have expressed support for Samantha in the days since her arrest.

Friends have also established a Gofundme account for Baby Justice on behalf of Frank and his family.

CrimeVoice staff contributed to this story


Mother Arrested in Death of Her Infant was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Yolo

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Lisa Kopochinski

Lisa Kopochinski is a freelance writer and editor who has written articles on numerous topics from crime, social justice and environmental issues to construction, travel and business profiles. Her work has appeared in the Sacramento Business Journal, Comstock’s, and many trade publications in both the U.S. and Canada. She can be reached at