South Florida mother of baby found dead in freezer facing premeditated murder charges

Posted at 10:53 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 10:53:01-05

The mother whose infant son in 2016 was found dead in a freezer is now facing a charge of first-degree premeditated murder.

In early 2016, Paola Vargas-Ortiz called 911 and said she was going to kill herself by jumping off from the Seven Mile Bridge in Monroe County.

Detectives later found four-month-old Hugo was inside of a freezer in a Homestead home, along with a suicide note Vargas-Ortiz wrote that read: "Sorry for all what I did. I will be punished," according to police.

Vargas-Ortiz first faced manslaughter charges and later second-degree murder charges but prosecutors once again changed the charges.

“The charges were changed from second-degree murder to first-degree premeditated murder," Miami-Dade Criminal Court Judge Alberto Milian said in court. "And, as I think I explained one time, if you’re convicted of that charge it’s a mandatory life sentence.”

Prosecutors do not have any plea offers on the table for Vargas-Ortiz. The next hearings will relate to text messages between Vargas-Ortiz and her husband the day before the child was killed.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty and Vargas-Ortiz will likely face a jury by September.