Press release from the Fortuna Police Department:

On Saturday June 8, 2013 officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to an apartment complex located in the 100 block of 12th Street for the report of an infant that had been abandoned.

Upon arrival officers learned that a one year old infant had been left in the care of residents within the complex sometime during the afternoon hours of Thursday June 6th. The infant was reportedly dirty and left with little formula or personal care items. During the three day period the infant was reportedly passed from one apartment to another before eventually coming into the care of a thirteen year old tenant. The tenant phoned the Fortuna Police Department after the infant’s mother, Stefani Renee Nelson (18) of Fortuna, had failed to return for the infant or contact anyone as to her whereabouts.

Officers attempted contact with Nelson through various means, including at last known residences, through family members and via her last known cellular phone number. All attempts to contact Nelson were unsuccessful.

Due to the circumstances reported by the apartment tenants and in the interest of the safety of the infant, officers placed the child into protective custody. Humboldt County Child Welfare Services was contacted and subsequently took custody of the infant.

At approximately 2022 hours, a Sergeant with the Fortuna Police Department observed Nelson walking near the 100 block of 12th Street. Nelson was contacted and subsequently taken into custody for the following charges;

PC 273a(a): Willful harm to a child.
WI 777: Probation violation.

Nelson was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Jail.