Grandfather granted custody of baby girl allegedly placed under plant pot

Woman's 5-year-old daughter also to be placed in man's care

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - The paternal grandfather of a baby girl has been temporarily granted custody of the infant after police said her mother placed her under an empty plant pot.

A custody of hearing was held Wednesday, where a judge also granted the man temporary custody of Martha Godinez-Diaz's 5-year-old daughter. 

Godinez-Diaz, 20, is not allowed to see her children at this time as she remains behind bars. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Monday to determine whether she can be around her older daughter if she is released from jail.

According to an arrest affidavit, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crew was called to Godinez-Diaz's home in Homestead on June 6 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 on Tuesday 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 "suffers from a genetic malformation of the brain." The newborn is believed to be anywhere from 31 to 33 weeks premature. 

She remains hospitalized in stable condition.

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