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Mother who tossed newborn baby girl in dumpster pleads guilty

Rafaelle Sousa, 38, sentenced to 7 1/2 years in jail, with credit for 3 years time served
Posted at 1:50 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 17:13:00-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County mother who tossed her newborn baby girl in a dumpster three years ago has pleaded guilty and will spend years behind bars.

Court records show Rafaelle Sousa, 38, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and child abuse, and was sentenced Wednesday to 7 1/2 years in jail, with credit for the more than three years she's already served in the Palm Beach County Jail.

Following her release, Sousa will be on probation for five years.

Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa
Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Sousa, shortly after giving birth to her baby girl on May 8, 2019, left her newborn in a dumpster at an apartment complex off Boca Entrada Boulevard.

Investigators said Sousa placed her daughter in a bag with "household garbage and coffee grinds."

According to her arrest report, Sousa told detectives she "went back twice to the dumpster to make sure the baby was dead but never approached the bag."

Carlos Jimenes Martins holds daughter, Sarah Jimenes Carvalho, in April 2020
Carlos Jimenes Martins holds his daughter, Sarah Jimenes Carvalho, in April 2020, nearly a year after she was found in a West Boca Raton dumpster.

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The little girl, whose name is Sarah Jimenes Carvalho, survived the incident. Her father, Carlos Jimenes Martins, has custody of her.