Grandfather Gets Custody of Premature Baby Left Outside Under Bucket in Homestead

The grandfather of a newborn girl who was allegedly left under a bucket by her mother outside her Homestead home was granted custody of the baby and her sister Wednesday.

Mother Martha Estella Godinez-Diaz, 20, was arrested Monday on charges including child abuse and child neglect after police say she gave birth to the premature baby while alone outside the home, then placed it under a potting plant bucket.

The girl's father, Mynor Perez-Garcia, appeared in court Wednesday, where he declared before a judge that he's certain he's the father of the girl. The judge ultimately gave custody of the baby and the couple's 5-year-old daughter to Perez-Garcia's father, Rigoberto Perez.

"I'm going to be very happy with my granddaughters, I'm going to take care of them to avoid any problems," Perez told reporters in Spanish after Wednesday's hearing.

The judge also said Godinez-Diaz will not be allowed visitation with the baby, for now. Godinez-Diaz was ordered held on $100,000 bond and remained behind bars Wednesday on an immigration hold, records showed.

The baby was hospitalized and suffers from a "genetic malformation of the brain," police said.

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