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Abandoned infant doing well in DCF custody

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Updated: 2/03 11:01 am
DEBARY, Fla. — A baby girl left at a central Florida fire station is doing well in state custody.

Department of Children and Families spokesman John Harrell told the Daytona Beach News-Journal the 6-week-old girl is in good health. She was left at a fire station in DeBary on Dec. 16 because her mother didn't want her and was rescued by a newspaper carrier.

The child spent a few days at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando.

Officials say 53-year-old Ralph Garlick Jr. who was dating the child's mother told them he found the baby outside a convenience store in 40-degree weather. Deputies later learned the mother had asked him to leave the child at the fire station.

He flagged down a newspaper carrier who called 911.

Garlick was arrested on charges of knowingly giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation and resisting an officer without violence.

For now, the child remains in DCF custody.

In the state of Florida, Safe Haven Laws allow birth parents to safely surrender a newborn (up to 7 days old) at attended fire or EMS stations, as well as hospitals, to preclude abandoning a newborn and causing harm or worse.

Infants that are surrendered through the Safe Haven Law are directly placed with approved adoptive parents through private adoption agencies. They do not enter the foster care system.


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