Court Appoints Two Caregivers for 15-Month-Old Girl in Wake of Miami Crash

Juliet Rivera's mother is being held in jail, and her father died over the weekend

By Justin Finch
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 8:38 PM EDT
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A court appointed the caregivers for 15-month-old Juliet Rivera, whose mother is being held in jail and whose father died over the weekend.

A court appointed the caregivers for 15-month-old Juliet Rivera, whose mother is being held in jail and whose father died over the weekend.

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A court appointed two caregivers for 15-month-old Juliet Rivera Wednesday, two days after the child was involved in a violent Miami crash.

Maternal grandfather Luis Rivera was the only relative who appeared in Miami-Dade Juvenile Court in the hope of being appointed the child's caregiver.

But the court appointed instead the baby’s paternal grandmother and the girlfriend of her late father, Raul Rivera. The decision was made based on Department of Children and Family findings that the paternal grandmother's home was a positive environment, and that she and the baby's father's girlfriend were able to properly care for Juliet, who was born with a medical condition requiring her to wear a protective helmet.

A car crash near NW 21st Avenue and NW 20th Street Monday night killed Kristofer Astorga, 22, the boyfriend of the baby’s mother, Mylife Rivera-Vasquez, police said. The baby was ejected from the Lincoln Town Car they were traveling in.

DCF officials told the court the toddler suffered no major injuries, but was rushed with her mother to Jackson Memorial Hospital soon after the crash. The baby was then transferred to Miami Children's Hospital.

The baby's father, Raul Rivera, died on Sunday, the day before a violent physical conflict between his girlfriend and Rivera-Vasquez, 20, according to authorities.

Police said the fight came just before the car crash that killed Astorga and injured Rivera-Vasquez and the baby. They said they believe that the driver, Astorga, was trying to speed away from the conflict.

Rivera-Vasquez was later arrested and charged with two counts of simple battery, police said. She was being held Wednesday night on $1,500 bond, online jail records said.

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