Infant Reported Missing Found Dead in Florida City: Cops

The infant was taken to Homestead Hospital where she died after being found in a ditch in Florida City, police said.

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    Hours after little Mariah, just shy of her second birthday, was reported missing, her body was found in a hole in a Florida City neighborhood, police said. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos spoke with a neighbor named Miss Hope about the community's reaction to the girl's death. (Published Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013)

    Florida City Police are investigating the death of an infant that was reported missing earlier on Saturday.

    Investigators said officers responded to reports of a missing female infant from a home on the 900 block of W. Palm Drive at 12:20 p.m. Shortly afterward, the infant was found unresponsive in a ditch close to the residence, police said.

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    The infant was taken to Homestead Hospital where she died, police said.

    Community members had spent Saturday searching for the child after she was reported missing.

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    "We all looked," said a woman named Miss Hope. "We went around the parks, even though we knew she couldn't walk that far."

    For many neighbors, like Miss Hope, Mariah was one of their own.

    "She didn't deserve this," Miss Hope said. "Everybody loved her. Nobody knew what she could become. They cut her life short."

    The girl was found just around the block from where she lived, neighbors said.

    "I see a lot of police coming and ambulance coming and take the baby," said Alal Hussein, who works at the gas station across the street from where she was found.

    Loved ones said she was last seen with her mother's boyfriend. The circumstances surrounding her death are still under investigation. Police did not say whether the child's death was being considered accidental or if foul play was involved.

    Stay with and NBC 6 South Florida for updates.

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