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Florida woman denied bond after baby found alive in dumpster

Cops: Woman delivered baby, placed it in bag
Posted: 2:27 PM, May 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-10 14:30:46-04
Rafaelle Sousa: 35-year-old west Boca woman arrested after baby found alive in dumpster
Rafaelle Sousa: 35-year-old west Boca woman arrested after baby found alive in dumpster

A 35-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night after a baby was found alive in a suburban Boca Raton dumpster on Wednesday.

The suspect, Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa, was booked at 10:57 p.m. and faces charges of attempted felony murder and child abuse. PBSO detectives said Sousa admitted to delivering the baby, placing the infant girl in a white plastic bag and putting her in the dumpster.

Investigators said that bag also contained household garbage and coffee grounds and a yellow and white bag was wrapped around the baby's head and face.

Sousa said she tried to get the baby to respond and waited three hours to see if the baby would breathe, according to a probable cause affidavit. She said she went back to the dumpster twice to make sure the baby was dead but didn't come close because there were people in the parking area near the dumpster, the report stated.

Investigators said they were able to track down Sousa after finding a receipt to a beauty supply store in a white plastic bag similar to the one containing the newborn. Further research led them to an address in front of the dumpster.

Sousa was denied bond during a court hearing Friday morning.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, two maintenance workers were walking at the Alister apartments, located at 10235 Boca Entrada Blvd., around 9 a.m. Wednesday and heard what sounded like a baby crying.

That is when they found a newborn baby girl alive in a dumpster.

PBSO said Thursday the baby is 6 pounds, 8 ounces and in good health.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said there is evidence the baby was born Wednesday, and the umbilical cord was still attached.

Under Florida law, unwanted newborns can be dropped off anonymously at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked.

Fire Rescue will transport the child to the nearest hospital for medical care. Since the program’s inception in 2000, 18 newborns have been turned over in Palm Beach County.

Click here for more information about the "Safe Haven" program.