Sheriff’s Department: 1 Deputy Killed, 1 Injured in Rancho Cordova

Grandmother of Baby Justice Demands Truth

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


Wanda Cozart has not spoken to her daughter, Samantha Green, since Green was arrested for the murder of baby Justice Rees.

"Take responsiblity for your part in whatever happened. You need to do that," Cozart said, covering her face has she is overcome with emotion.

Family reported Samantha and Justice Rees, missing Monday of last week. Green turned up at the Ridgecut Slough in Knights Landing Tuesday night. Deputies discovered the baby's body there the following morning. Investigators arrested the mother for murder three days later.

"Justice is not going to have peace, until the truth is known. And you are the only person who can tell us what happened to him. So, so that his spirit can be at peace, you need to do that... and take responsiblity for your part in whatever happened," Cozart said.

Officials said Justice likely died from drowning or freezing out in the slough.

Those are images that haunt Cozart, because she knows her grandson began his life just three weeks before, already faced with difficulties at birth.

"Grandparents don't have rights. I'm horrified that not all grandparents were made aware by the CPS system, that my grandson did test positive for drugs. Because I held him in ICU," she said.

At the time of the baby's death, Green was already under investigation by CPS for alleged drug use.

Cozart believes it was a case that perhaps began too late, in which CPS failed to take action.

"Please fix the system. And involve the extended family. Parents have rights, I get that. But I think all grandparents involved needed to know that information at the hospital, because he had plenty of loving homes to go to," she said.

Aside from thanking the community for its support, Cozart is also grateful for the officers who took such care with her grandson in the end.

"The care that they had with my grandson when they found him and you know I'm real grateful for that... if a family member wasn't there, there were people who cared and they were loving with my grandson."   Cozart added, as her voiced cracked.