BOCA RATON, Fla. — A Florida woman has been charged with attempted murder after her newborn daughter was found discarded with household trash in a dumpster behind the apartment complex where she resides.
Rafaelle Sousa, 35, was taken into custody on Friday after a receipt found in the dumpster led investigators to her door.
According to reports, two maintenance workers at Alister Boca Raton Apartments heard the cries of the child on Wednesday, and being led by the sound, discovered her inside of a garbage bag. Paramedics arrived on the scene to provide medical care for the infant and transport her to a local hospital.
Investigators state that there was household trash and coffee grounds inside of the bag along with the baby, and another bag was over her head. The infant girl, weighing 6 pounds, eight ounces, still had her umbilical cord attached.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that police went door to door at the apartment complex seeking information on the baby, but when they reached Sousa’s home, she didn’t answer. She told a neighbor that she was doing manicures and pedicures out of her home without a permit, and was worried she would get in trouble.
Sousa’s neighbor says that she advised her that the police were rather seeking information about a baby, and Sousa replied, “I don’t speak English.” She states that she noticed Sousa was wearing a garment around her waist to flatten her stomach, and even remarked that she should take it off or else “they’re going to think you’re the mother,” but didn’t realize that Sousa really was the perpetrator.
In the meantime, police found another bag in the dumpster that contained bloodied napkins, as well as a receipt from Fantastic Beauty Supply. Detectives then took the receipt to the store, which traced the receipt to Sousa via her telephone number. A review of the security footage also showed Sousa shopping at the beauty outlet the day before the incident.
On Friday, following her arrest, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that Sousa had admitted to discarding of her newborn daughter.
“After being interviewed by detectives, Rafaelle admitted to delivering the baby, placing her in a bag and throwing her in the dumpster,” it wrote.
However, the Sun-Sentinel also outlines that Sousa claimed to investigators that the child was dead.
“She stated she tried to get the baby to respond and waited three hours to see if the baby would breathe,” a police report states, according to the outlet. “She also said she went back twice to the dumpster to make sure the baby was dead but never approached the bag because there were people in the parking area around the dumpster.”
Sousa has now been charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse. Video footage from local television station WPTV shows an interpreter explaining the charges to Sousa in Portuguese.
The baby is stated to be safe in government custody and is “cute as a button.”
Florida has a safe haven law that allows mothers of newborns to surrender their child at a local hospital or fire department without penalty.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 outlines, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”