A 24-year-old Santa Barbara woman is no longer in custody for the alleged murder of her newborn, pending the outcome of a coroner’s examination on her deceased infant’s body.

Jessie Canfield currently faces no charges in her child’s death as the coroner works to confirm the baby’s cause of death. Canfield is accused of disposing of the infant, a girl, in a trash can outside a Redondo Beach residence where she was attending a party. According to authorities, Canfield complained of cramping and discomfort at the party, and later had the child there; blood was found in one of the rooms of the residence. Canfield reportedly told police she didn’t realize she was pregnant.

At around 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, according to authorities, a trash collector was on his normal route when he found the dead baby inside a container which had been placed curbside for collection. Investigators quickly pieced together the case, learning that a party had taken place at the residence related to the garbage can, and contacting Canfield later that day at her sister’s Santa Barbara home, where she currently resides. She was arrested later that day and was in jail on $1 million bail prior to being released.

It is unclear whether Canfield will still face charges if the coroner determines the child was already deceased when it was discarded in the garbage. A DA’s spokesperson said they would not address hypothetical situations.


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