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Man arrested after newborn found abandoned at gas station

11:22 AM, Dec 16, 2013   |    comments
  • Ralph Garlick, Jr., 53
    
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DEBARY, Fla. -- Deputies in Volusia County arrested a man who initially told them he found a newborn baby abandoned at a Debary gas station.

Ralph Garlick, Jr., 53, is charged with knowingly giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation and resisting an officer without violence. He told authorities he found the girl, who is just a day old, wrapped in newspapers at the Debary Food Mart on Highbanks Road near U.S. Highway 17-92 at 2:20 a.m.

According to deputies, Garlick initially identified himself as his dead brother Charles Garlick. He said he was in the area and heard the newborn's cries and then picked her up and walked a half mile to a fire station, but no one answered there, so he flagged down a newspaper delivery man who called 911.

"At first I didn't believe him because who would leave a baby out in the cold air like this?" said newspaper delivery driver Anthony Akeridge. "I heard the baby make a noise and I'm like, 'Oh, my gosh.' I called 911 and told the gentleman to get in my van and I turned on the heater as hot as I could get it."

Akeridge said the child's umbilical cord was still attached and tied off by a nylon rope.

Listen: 911 call made after newborn found at gas station

After questioning, Garlick admitted to lying about his name and the circumstances about how he found the baby.

He then told investigators, he is not the father of the child, but it belongs to his girlfriend who gave birth at an apartment complex in Orange City.

Officials said Garlick told them he was trying to find a safe location to drop the baby off because his girlfriend didn't want to keep it.

Authorities said the grainy surveillance video appears to show a man at the gas station where the child was found.

The child's mother was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford. Investigators will interview her to get her side of the story.

The newborn was taken by ambulance to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, and doctors said she appears to be in good condition. Once the child is medically cleared, she will be turned over the the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Under Florida law, a newborn can be left at a fire or police station without any legal repercussions.

Garlick is being held on $5,000 bond.

WESH

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