The Yolo County Sheriff’s office announced on February 28 that Woodland resident Samantha Green, 23, was arrested in connection with the suspected homicide of her 3-week-old son Justice Rees.
Green had told Yolo County Sheriff’s detectives she and Justice were abducted; they were the subjects of a missing-person report filed on February 23. Justice Rees’ paternal grandmother, Patty Rees, with whom he and his parents had been living, stated, “[Samantha] knew the person.” Before the murder charges were filed, Patty Rees had said she was not privy to any additional details, but that she was confident her son’s fiancée was telling the truth about the alleged abduction.
Justice Rees, who was born on February 5, was found dead at about 9:50 am on February 25 in a dense thicket near Ridge Cut Slough on the outskirts of the small town of Knight’s Landing. Sheriff’s Captain Larry Cecchettini said possible causes of death could include hypothermia and/or drowning; however, he noted testing and toxicology results could take several months.
Samantha Green was reported missing after she failed to show up for a family event. She was found on the evening of February 24 after a Knights Landing man called 911 and stated he had encountered a young woman who was “crying and hysterical.”
As recently as February 26, Sheriff’s officials had stated the mother was not a suspect but, rather, a “person of interest” in the case. “When we spoke to Samantha Green after she was found, she didn’t have the ability to describe what happened,” said Yolo County Sheriff Edward Prieto prior to the arrest. “She was cold, she was hysterical and she was grieving. She had lost her child.”
Green is now lodged in Yolo County Jail on a no-bail hold and faces a single count of murder. She is scheduled to be arraigned March 4 at 11am in Yolo Superior Court.
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 for Frank and his family.