HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a woman in Homestead accused of child abuse and neglect.
Homestead resident Martha Godinez-Diaz was taken into custody on Monday charged with child abuse and neglect.
According to police, Godinez-Diaz gave birth to her newborn child and abandoned the premature baby in her backyard, covering the infant with a potted plant bucket.
7News spoke with the baby’s grandfather, who said he is the one who made the disturbing discovery. He alerted relatives, and a pastor called 911.
Upon their arrival, paramedics found the baby girl wrapped in a blanket under a 10-gallon plant bucket. Authorities believe it was deliberately placed on top of her to hide her.
According to an arrest report, “the placenta was still attached to the victim with traces of dirt, leaves and debris.”
Rescue crews rushed the baby to the hospital from the suspect’s home on Northeast 17th Street and First Terrace.
The 20-year-old’s boyfriend said he is the father of the child and told 7News Godinez-Diaz was scared when she gave birth early and didn’t mean any harm. He also said she suffers from memory problems after a recent car accident.
According to officials, the baby was born a month early and is in the hospital being treated for a genetic malformation of the brain.
Godinez-Diaz remains in jail, where she is being held on a $100,000 bond.
There was a shelter hearing for the mother’s other child in Miami that same afternoon.
A judge granted temporary custody of her 5-year-old daughter to her grandfather.
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