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Mother of newborn baby found alive in dumpster in suburban Boca Raton pleads not guilty

Posted at 2:36 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 04:54:20-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A mother accused of tossing her newborn baby girl in a dumpster in suburban Boca Raton earlier this month has pleaded not guilty, according to court records.

Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa, 35, faces attempted murder and child abuse charges.

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 a dumpster at an apartment complex near Boca Entrada Blvd. on May 8.

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.

RELATED: Newborn found alive in dumpster sparks adoption interest

At a court hearing earlier this month, a judge denied Sousa bond.

The Department of Children and Families has launched an investigation, and said the child is in the agency's care. DCF wouldn't confirm if the baby is still in the hospital, or how she's doing.

Under Florida's "Safe Haven" 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.