Murder victim's baby found safe in California

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LAVEEN, Ariz. -- After more than a day of searching, officials say a 7-month-old girl whose mother's body was discovered Saturday morning has been found safe.

Sunday afternoon, authorities said Heaven Marie Smith was found after apparently being turned over to California Department of Child Services on Friday.

The body of the baby's mother, Brittany Jasmine Hines, was discovered by dove hunters Saturday around 8 a.m. near 61st Avenue and Elliott Road in Laveen.

Gary Erran, who lives near the area, said this is not the first time a body has been found there.

"It seems to be a drop area," he said.

MCSO investigators say details at this point are still sketchy, but they are talking to everyone who knew Hines. They do not have any suspects in the case.

"We're gathering from the family that she doesn't have any ties here to the Valley," said Detective Aaron Douglas of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly after identifying Hines through fingerprints, investigators learned that Hines had a baby daughter who was nowhere to be found. They immediately began searching for Heaven, learning more than a day later that the baby had been in California the entire time.

Investigators do not know who left Heaven with DCS.

"The family did not know where the child was," Douglas said.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the sheriff's office at 602-876-1011 or 602-876-4004.