The mother of a five-month-old boy who was found at a Davie fire station last week appeared in court Thursday morning.
Jessica Marquardt, 28, who was in jail when the news broke that her son Daniel had been left at a fire station, faced a judge over a domestic violence case. Hollywood police said Marquardt beat and bit her husband, Robert Conover, earlier this year.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge and will return to court in April. Marquardt was also charged with violation of probation charges for a previous arrest, according to CBS4.
Earlier this week, Conover told WSVN he did not abandon his child and wants to be reunited with his son.
Conover, who had been sober for 18 months, said he started to abuse alcohol again and asked some of his Alcoholics Anonymous friends to watch his son in the evenings. He said he left his son with a friend for three nights to clean up his apartment and go grocery shopping when the friend dropped off the baby at the fire station.
“I don’t think that it’s right that somebody took it upon themselves to determine whether or not I’m a fit father,” Conover told Channel 7. “I take care of my son. I always have for the five months of his life.”
Conover said he thinks his past problems with drugs led to his friend bringing the child to the fire station. He had been caring for his son by himself after his wife was arrested.
Marquardt called him asking about the well-being of their child when she saw the baby’s picture on TV. It was then that Conover contacted the police department.
The baby boy was deemed to be healthy and there were no signs of abuse, Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle said. He was found in a stroller accompanied by clean clothes.
It is now up to a judge to decide whether Conover will regain custody of his child, but police do not believe there was any criminal intent.
“I’m kind of at a loss, you know, it’s hard being alone with a son,” Conover said.
Until the hearing on Feb. 13, the baby will remain in state custody and in foster care.