Dead fetus recovered from sewer system in Thousand Oaks

A dead fetus was discovered inside a metal storage bin at a water treatment plant in Thousand Oaks on April 6, 2019.

Deputies with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office Moorpark and Thousand Oaks patrol stations were called out to the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant at about 8 a.m. after an employee at the plant found the fetus following the sorting process where solid and liquid materials are separated.

Investigators believe the fetus entered the sewer system in the northern part of Thousand Oaks and ended up in a metal storage bin after the sorting process.

An autopsy conducted on April 8 revealed that this was a non-viable premature male fetus and not capable of surviving on its own outside the womb, the Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities say the Sheriff's Office is not investigating this incident as a crime and do not anticipate the case developing into a criminal complaint against the mother.

"Instead, we are concerned for the mothers' physical and mental wellbeing as there is a possibility the mother is in need of medical attention," said the Ventura County Sheriff's Department in a news release.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective Ryan Poynter at 805-384-4741 or email