A search for a missing Sarasota baby girl ended in Palmetto on Thursday morning, hours after her mother was taken to a hospital and died of natural causes, police said.
An Amber Alert for 5-month-old Brianna Martinez-Lujano was canceled after two hours, just before 9 a.m., when she was found safe with Aldequndo Benitez-Caivillo, 31, a man who had been in a relationship with the mother for the past year, Sarasota police said.
Police became involved about 1 a.m. when the child’s father, Lucio Martinez-Lopez, reported that his wife, Teresa Martinez-Lujano, was taken to a hospital with a medical emergency. He told police his wife and child were had just checked into a Sarasota hotel with Benitez-Caivillo, a man his wife had been in a relationship in for about a year.
Shortly after checking into the Cadillac Hotel, 4021 N. Tamiami Trail, the mother required medical treatment. Benitez-Caivillo took custody of the child until he could alert the proper authorities, police said.
The father, however, was concerned the child would be taken from Florida, police said. Authorities in Sarasota and Manatee counties began looking for the man and baby.
About 4:30 a.m., Martinez-Lopez provided authorities with a birth certificate and photos proving he was the father. Sarasota police then contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and an Amber Alert was issued about 7 a.m.
A family member of Benitez-Caivillo’s became aware of the Amber Alert and called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, which directed detectives to an address in Palmetto. Benitez-Caivillo and the infant were found there.
Brianna is in custody of the state Department of Children & Families.
It is unlikely criminal charges will be filed because there appeared to be no intent to commit a crime, police said.