Mother accused of putting newborn baby in garbage bag, tossing it into dumpster
Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa faces attempted murder, child abuse charges
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida woman was arrested Thursday night on charges of attempted murder and child abuse after a newborn baby was found alive in a dumpster near Boca Raton.
Rafaelle Alessandra Carbalho Sousa appeared in court Friday morning, when Palm Beach County Judge Ted Booras ordered that she remain in jail without bond. He also ordered her not to have contact with the baby or the baby's father.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office probable cause affidavit, Sousa gave birth to the baby girl before placing her in a garbage bag with "household garbage and coffee grinds" and then tossing it into a dumpster at the Alister Boca Raton apartments.
Two maintenance workers found the infant in the dumpster Wednesday morning and called 911.
During a search of the dumpster, detectives found another garbage bag similar to the one with the baby in it.
Detectives said they found a "bundle of napkins with a large amount of blood," along with a receipt from Fantastic Beauty Supply.
Investigators said they were able link Sousa, who lives in the apartment complex, to the lot number on the box of garbage bags and the receipt in one of the bags.
During an interview with detectives, Sousa confessed that she "put the bag containing the baby into the dumpster."
"She stated she tried to get the baby to respond and waited three hours to see if the baby would breathe," the affidavit said. "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."
Detectives said the baby's father "had no idea" Sousa was pregnant.
Booras mentioned in court that the federal government has placed an immigration hold on Sousa.
The newborn baby weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces and is now in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Sousa faces life in prison if convicted of attempted murder.
For information about how to turnover a baby to authorities, visit the Safe Haven For Newborns site.
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