RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A Corona couple pled guilty today, Aug. 20, 2019, to the murder of their newborn baby, known as “Baby Jane”, whose body was found last year in a cardboard box near a drain tunnel running under Interstate 15 in Corona.
Joshua Tyler Benson, 17, and Shawna Joelle Andritch, 22; entered the guilty pleas at a felony settlement conference at the Hall of Justice in Riverside. In plea agreements with the District Attorney’s Office, Joshua Benson pled guilty to first-degree murder and Shawna Andritch pled guilty to second-degree murder. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2019.
Benson faces a sentence of 25 years to life and Andritch a sentence of 15 years to life. Benson was 17 years old at the of the time of the murder but, on June 25, 2019, a Riverside County Juvenile Court judge found him unfit for juvenile court and his case was transferred to adult court.
In July 2018, a landscaper called authorities to report finding a deceased infant in a cardboard box under Interstate 15, near Cajalco Road. Responding Corona police officers found a yellow 38- count corn dog box with the deceased baby inside still covered in afterbirth.
The baby had been left there with a stuffed animal and a blanket, wrapped in a men’s t-shirt that Benson later admitted was his.
After several months of investigation, which included the Corona Police Department encouraging the public to call them with tips, detectives received information that led them to Benson and Andritch.
Further investigation revealed that the two had intended to kill the baby from the beginning, ultimately succeeding and leaving the deceased baby in the box under the freeway.