DEBARY, Fla. - Authorities said no criminal charges will be filed against a mother whose boyfriend lied to investigators about finding her newborn outside a food mart in DeBary.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said Ralph Garlick Jr., 53, claimed he found the baby girl unclothed and wrapped in newspaper outside the food
mart's door on South Charles R. Bell Boulevard.
Garlick, however, eventually told investigators that the baby belonged to his girlfriend and that he left the child there.
On Tuesday, Channel 9 talked to Stacey Canada, who said he's the father of the baby girl.
"I see the news of the gentleman who was arrested and basically, I recognized who he was," said Canada.
Canada told Channel 9 he was brought to tears when he heard the details in the case.
"Heartbroken, yeah," he said. "But the rest of her life will be better."
Canada wouldn't go into details but told Channel 9 he met with Department of Children and Families workers Tuesday morning and said he wants to pursue custody of the girl.
"What do you want to do now for her?" asked WFTV's Nancy Alvarez.
"As much as I can. As much as I can," said Canada.
"We really appreciate the outpouring of affection for this child. She has no shortage of love," said DCF spokeswoman Kristi Gray.
Gray said hundreds of people have shown support for the baby on social media, most wondering what happens next.
There is no easy answer, though, Gray said.
"The decisions we're making right now for this child are going to affect the rest of her life," said Gray.
DCF's first steps will be to complete an investigation into the baby's mother. If she gives up or loses custody of the child, the agency could then turn to an adoption agency and the families on their waiting lists.
"They've gone through a lengthy screening and training process, home evaluations, assessments of their own lives," said Gray. "These are people who have been waiting for a baby."
The baby will continue to be cared for in a nursery at Winnie Palmer to give DCF time to sort through the situation.
Authorities said Garlick initially identified himself to deputies as Charles Garlick, using the name of his dead brother, but after questioning, Garlick admitted he lied to deputies about his name and the circumstances of Monday's incident.
Deputies said Garlick's girlfriend gave birth to the baby early Monday morning at an apartment complex in Orange City.
Garlick said he was trying to take the baby to a safe location because his girlfriend didn't want to keep her.
Authorities said the baby still had her umbilical cord attached, and it appeared to have been tied with a
Garlick was arrested on charges of knowingly giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation and resisting an officer without violence.
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