Police: Phoenix mom who triggered Amber Alert found unconscious with baby, drugs by her side

Jul 13, 2023, 7:18 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

Phoenix mom who triggered Amber Alert found unconscious with baby, drugs by her side...

(Phoenix Police Department photo)

(Phoenix Police Department photo)

PHOENIX — The mother who took her newborn baby from a Phoenix hospital and triggered an Amber Alert was found unconscious with the child and drugs by her side, authorities said Thursday.

Police found 24-year-old Rosa Santana at an apartment near 71st Avenue and Indian School Road at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night, three hours after the Arizona Department of Public Safety issued an Amber Alert.

The baby was found alongside drug paraphernalia and a piece of paper that likely contained fentanyl, according to court documents.

What led up to the arrest?

Santana gave birth at the Valleywise Medical Health facility near 24th and Roosevelt streets last Thursday.

Her son had fentanyl in his umbilical cord sample, indicating Santana had been using the drug for a long time, according to court documents.

The newborn suffered from opioid withdrawal, according to court documents.

Medical officials moved him to the pediatric intensive care unit for further care. He needed both morphine for the withdrawal symptoms and a feeding tube.

Doctors said her baby needed to stay at the hospital for his own good. However, Santana wrapped her son in a blanket, placed him in a duffel bag and smuggled him out of the facility at about 1:10 p.m. on Wednesday, police said.

Mother said previous children had been taken from her

During a post-Miranda interview, Santana said she knew her son was fentanyl-positive, court documents said. She told police DCS took her three previous children and believed her newborn son would also be removed.

During a police interview, Santana said she thought her son wasn’t in any medical danger. She claimed she fed her son at the apartment and only took fentanyl after he fell asleep, according to court documents.

Officials issued an Amber Alert around 7 p.m. Wednesday and canceled it about three hours later. DPS said the infant was attached to a feeding tube when he was taken.

“Valleywise Health took immediate action to search for the mother and infant and is fully cooperating with law enforcement,” the hospital said in a statement after the Amber Alert was issued.

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Police: Phoenix mom who triggered Amber Alert found unconscious with baby, drugs by her side