Mother Of Abandoned Davie Baby Expecting
South Florida Crime
MIAMI(CBSMiami) — The mother of a five-month old who was left in a stroller under a Safe Haven sign at a Davie firehouse last month, was back in court Thursday. This time with a big announcement.
Jessica Conover, 28, told the judge she is four months pregnant and is doing everything to get her baby back.
“I’ve been showing up to court. I’ve been doing my program, talking to the right people, doing my best to make things better,” said Marquardt. She even spoke about her addictions.
She is allowed have weekly, supervised visitation with the child.
Conover faced a judge last month for her arraignment in a domestic violence case. Hollywood police say on January 3, 2014 Conover beat and bit her husband Robert Conover.
She pled not guilty to the charge. Conover is set to appear in court for this case again in April.She also faces violation of probation charges for a previous arrest.
She was in jail when her baby named ‘Daniel’ was left at the Davie fire station.
Last month, the father of the child, said he will do anything to get his child back.
According to Conover, the days before his son was left, he was caring for him by himself after his wife was arrested.
He later said he started abusing alcohol after 18 months of sobriety and asked some of his Alcoholics Anonymous friends to watch his son in the evenings.
Conover said he had no idea his friends planned to leave his son at the fire station.
After releasing a photo of the blue-eyed blond baby boy back in January, police say they received a call from the father.
“The child appeared in good health with clean clothes which suggests no criminal intent” said Capt. Dale Engle.
At a court hearing in Janaury, investigators told a judge the child was being placed in foster care.
According to the Department of Children & Families, the investigation is ongoing and the courts will determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Police say the child was left under a Safe Haven for Newborns sign. That law allows parents of a child 7 days old and younger to leave an infant at a safe place with no questions asked and no fear of prosecution.
It is not known if the person who dropped the baby off knew the guidelines.
While the baby is older than 7 days, Davie Police Sgt. Ed Smith said investigators do not plan to pursue criminal charges in this case. Rather, he said, they are offering compassion to the child’s caretaker.
“We don’t believe there was any criminal intent on behalf of the caretaker who left the child here, said Smith.
Police said someone left the child at Fire Station 38 along Orange Drive just east of University Drive around 3:30 pm. Investigators say firefighters inside were alerted to the presence of a child outside the fire station, found the baby and took him to a hospital to be checked out.
“The doctors at the hospital were able to determine that he is completely healthy,” said Smith.
The architect of Florida’s Safe Haven law, Nick Silverio, says he doesn’t think the timeframe for dropping off a baby should be extended beyond a couple of weeks because he doesn’t want to send a message that its okay to abandon your children.
“The law was designed to help women who were trying to hide their pregnancy and were harming their babies. It ensures anonymity. The longer a baby is with a caretaker the harder that is. We have saved 206 babies to date,” said Silverio.
Here is more information on the Safe Haven Law in Florida:
A parent may leave a newborn baby at a hospital, fire station or emergency medical station, without fear of prosecution.
*Age: 7 days old or younger
*Baby may be left with a person at a hospital, fire station or emergency medical station
*Parent has the absolute right to remain anonymous and the parent is provided immunity from prosecution for abandonment if there is no abuse or neglect.
*The babies are usually placed with adoptive parents.
*Call 1-877-767-BABY (2229) for a toll-free, multilingual help line. The line is staffed 24 hours a day and all calls are confidential.