MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami judge had been planning to send a toddler found wandering alone outside a Little Havana apartment with weapons inside to live with her mother, against the advice of the Department of Children and Families.
But, after a positive urine test for marijuana, the case was put back up in the air.
“I must consider what’s in the best interest of the child,” Judge Allen Fine said Friday.
The case started when four-year old Analise Bianchi, currently in the care of the Department of Children and Families, was living with her father, Luis, when the incident took place.
He was charged with child neglect, accused of leaving her home alone with an arsenal of weapons in the next room. He bonded out a few hours later. He told police he went to work Wednesday and thought the girl’s mother, Liz Marie Bones, was on her way to the apartment to babysit.
After the girl was found by a neighbor, police went to the apartment, found the door open and discovered the arsenal of weapons, including a grenade. However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed the guns were obtained legally and the grenade was not live, it was a dud.
DCF said Friday that it couldn’t recommend the girl be placed with her mother because a home study was not complete. DCF told the judge the night the girl was found alone, the mother did not return their calls and that she had a sporadic relationship with the 4-year-old.
DCF officials said they were worried about emotional damage if the girl was placed with the mom.
DCF said placement with a female cousin who lives with the father would be acceptable; but dad would have to move out. Luis has volunteered to move out and agree to a court order to stay away.
There are no more guns in the apartment as police took them away.
Still, Judge Allen Fine initially ordered the child placed with her mother pending a clean drug test and mental health screening.
“There’s a very strong presumption that children stay with their parents,” Judge Fine said Friday. “I am going to place the child with the mother.”
Judge Fine also ordered Luis have supervised visits with the daughter, despite the criminal charges he’s facing.
DCF officials said immediately they disagreed with the entirety of Judge Fine’s initial ruling.
Once the positive drug test came back, Judge Fine revisited his decision and brought the mother back to court.
Judge Fine said the girl will remain in state custody as of now. If the mother can pass a drug abuse evaluation and test negative for drugs over a period of time, then the girl could be placed with her.
In the meantime, Analise will remain in the custody of the Department of Children & Families.