Miami Police have arrested a woman they say is the mother of a child who was abandoned at Mercy Hospital on Tuesday.
Miami Police posted a picture of the child earlier in the afternoon, asking for her parents or relatives.
Police said 33-year-old Carolina Vizcarra was arrested just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and will be charged with one count of child abandonment.
Earlier in the day, Vizcarra went into a medical building and handed off the young girl to a man who happened to be an off-duty officer, Miami Police said.
“He’s approached by an unknown white apparently Hispanic woman with a toddler in hand and asked him if he could watch this little girl while she went to the bathroom," Miami Police spokesperson Kenia Fallat said. "When she comes out of the restroom she just vanished.“
According to an arrest report, Vizcarra told police, "It's not like I just left her, it's a hospital and I was worried for her." She later told police she thought she would end up sleeping on the streets, but didn't want her child to.
Vizcarra told a judge Wednesday that she's struggling with finding housing and is a victim of domestic violence.
The judge found probable cause and ordered that Vizacarra stay away and have no contact with the child.
Vizcarra’s daughter is now in the care of her half-siblings' mother.
Florida's Safe Haven law protects mothers who leave their kids in a designated safe space, but it only governs babies up to seven days old.
"I can't imagine what must have precipitated this moment for her. What heartbreaking series of events led to her surrendering a child, who is a person," said Elizabeth Schwartz, a board certified adoption attorney. She is not handling this particular case but says it's unique.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.