PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Two men who rescued a newborn baby girl from a dumpster in suburban Boca Raton back in May were honored on Thursday morning.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office presented its Samaritan Award to Yusdani Gonzalez-Delgado and Sergio Vega for their "outstanding act, achievement, or exceptional service to his or her fellow man and community."
🔽 WATCH HEROES HONORED 🔽
According to PBSO, Gonzalez-Delgado and Vega were walking in an apartment complex near Boca Entrada Blvd. on May 8 and heard what sounded like a baby crying.
"We heard something that sounded maybe like a cat," Vega told WPTV on Thursday. "To me, it's like the baby was asking for help."
Gonzalez-Delgado jumped into a dumpster and found a newborn baby girl alive inside a plastic bag.
"We both froze because it was something surreal," said Vega, who was the maintenance manager at the apartment complex. "She had trash around her, there was coffee grinds, she was dirty and bloody, but she was alive and well. Even at one point she opened her eyes and looked at us."
The heroes took the baby out, cleaned her up, and called 911. Amazingly, the newborn, whose name is Sarah, made a full recovery thanks to the quick actions of Gonzalez-Delgado and Vega, and she was eventually reunited with her father.
"Everything was so surreal and was happening so quick, that the only thing you can do is react," said Vega. "It was just amazing to know that she made it."
Baby Sarah and her dad were in attendance at Thursday's awards ceremony, and stood alongside the men as they accepted their award to a round of applause.
The child's mother, 35-year-old Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa, has pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder and child abuse.
PBSO detectives said Sousa admitted to delivering the baby, placing the infant girl in a white plastic bag with household trash, and putting her in the dumpster.
Sousa told detectives she went back to the dumpster twice to make sure the baby was dead, but didn't get close because there were people nearby, according to a probable cause affidavit.
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.
Sousa is currently being held without bond in the Palm Beach County Jail.