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Baby boy found dead in freezer in Homestead

Woman threatening to jump off Seven Mile Bridge leads police to home


HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Police are investigating after the body of a 5-month-old boy was found in a freezer Sunday evening.

According to authorities, the mother of the baby was threatening to kill herself by jumping off the Seven Mile Bridge.

"Yes, hi, good afternoon. Um, I'm calling because I'm planning to suicide myself," Paola Vargas-Ortiz told a 911 dispatcher.

"I'm sorry, you're planning to what?" the dispatcher asked.

"Suicide myself," Vargas-Ortiz said, later adding that she was at the entrance of the bridge.

According to an incident report, Vargas-Ortiz told Monroe County sheriff's deputies that she was depressed and had ingested rat poison about an hour ago.

Deputies noticed a car seat in the backseat of the woman's car and asked her where her baby was. Vargas-Ortiz gave various statements about where the boy was and his age, the report said.

According to the report, when deputies told her they needed to know where the baby was in order to make sure he was safe, she said, "I think I need a lawyer."

Miami-Dade police officers were called to a home at 2482 NE Third Court after she told deputies that her baby boy had drowned and was in the freezer at his father's home in Homestead.

When officers arrived at the home, they found the baby, identified as Hugo Alvarez Vargas, dead in the freezer.

According to the report, while at Fisherman's Hospital, Vargas-Ortiz told a deputy, "I was bathing it and it slipped out of my hands." When the deputy asked what is "it," she said, "My baby was a boy."

Police said Vargas-Ortiz has not been charged at this time.

Florida Department of Children and Families press secretary Michelle Glady said the agency has an open death investigation but had no prior contact with the child.

The cause and manner of the baby's death are being determined by the medical examiner.

Vargas-Ortiz was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital to undergo a psychological examination.


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