DEBARY — A man who said he had found an abandoned newborn girl wrapped in newspapers outside a Volusia County gas station was arrested Monday on charges of lying to investigators.
Ralph Garlick Jr., 53, faces two misdemeanors: knowingly giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation and resisting an officer without violence. He was booked into the Volusia County Jail and faces bail of up to $5,000.
Volusia deputies said Garlick originally told investigators that he had found the baby after hearing her cry, and he identified himself to authorities using the name of his dead brother. Under further questioning, Garlick admitted that the baby belonged to his girlfriend, although he isn’t the father.
Garlick said his girlfriend didn’t want the newborn girl and that he was trying to find a safe place for the baby, authorities said.
Garlick also told investigators that the girl was born early Monday morning in an apartment complex in Orange City.
The baby was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, where doctors said she appeared to be in good condition, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. Once the baby is medically cleared, she will be turned over to the state Department of Children & Families.
Under Florida law, a newborn can be left at a public place, such as a fire station or police station without any legal repercussions.
Sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said investigators were determining whether the newborn’s mother faces any charges. She was taken to Central Florida Regional Hospital in Sanford, where she was being questioned by investigators.