Homestead woman leaves premature baby under plant pot after birth, police say

Martha Godinez-Diaz faces felony child abuse, neglect charges

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A Homestead woman was arrested Monday after she gave birth to a premature baby girl and left the child under an empty plant pot without any care, police said.

Martha Godinez-Diaz, 20, faces felony child abuse and neglect charges.

According to an arrest affidavit, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was called to Godinez-Diaz's home last Wednesday after relatives of the child's presumed father discovered the baby near a backyard shed.

Police said Godinez-Diaz recently moved to South Florida from Guatemala and was reunited with her boyfriend.

Godinez-Diaz's boyfriend told police that she found out she was pregnant in April and told him that she wasn't sure if he was the father. He said Godinez-Diaz contacted him last week and complained of stomach pain, but by the time he got to her home, she told him she felt fine.

When Godinez-Diaz's boyfriend's parents confronted her about her pregnancy and a change in the size of her abdomen, she "was only telling them that blood had come out of her," according to the affidavit.
The boyfriend's father, who lives at the home with the couple, searched the backyard and saw a plant pot on top of the baby, whose feet were moving, the affidavit said. He immediately called his daughter, who showed up with her church pastor. 

She went outside and saw a 10-gallon plant pot covering the baby's head and a blue shirt covering the baby's torso.

"The bucket appeared to be a deliberate attempt at concealing the child, possibly in an attempt to muffle (the baby's) cries," the affidavit said.

When paramedics arrived, the baby was wrapped in a blue blanket with dirt and leaves on her body. A Miami-Dade Fire Rescue captain noticed that the placenta was still attached to the baby.

After Godinez-Diaz was arrested, she told police that she was alone when she gave birth and placed a blanket under the child for protection.

"(Godinez-Diaz) also alleged that she has suffered memory loss since a car accident in April," the affidavit said.

The suspect's boyfriend told Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon that the couple called an ambulance after Godinez-Diaz gave birth.

He insisted that she never placed their daughter under the pot.

"She never put the baby under anything," he said in Spanish. 

Police said the baby remained hospitalized Tuesday and "suffers from a genetic malformation of the brain." The newborn is believed to be anywhere from 31 to 33 weeks premature.

Godinez-Diaz was being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.