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Published on February 22, 2024
South Florida Parents Arrested after Amber Alert Ends with Safe Recovery of 8-Month-Old DaughterSource: Broward Sheriff's Office

A couple has been taken into custody after their 8-month-old daughter, who triggered an Amber Alert, was found safe, police in South Florida confirmed. Arys Maria Martinez, 34, and Jacob Alexander Howard, 34, face serious charges relating to the disappearance and subsequent recovery of their daughter Amelia Martinez. According to Local 10, Martinez is charged with kidnapping a minor under 13 while committing aggravated abuse and Howard is charged with interference with the custody of a minor and probation violation.

Davie police records show that the child was originally left at a daycare facility by her grandmother on Tuesday morning. She was picked up by her father and subsequently handed over to her mother. Both parents, as per authorities, had previously lost their parental rights, and Amelia is under the supervision of ChildNet. Following an extensive search, the baby was located at a home in Pembroke Pines, where the Pembroke Pines SWAT team supported her recovery.

In a dramatic scene, police cordoned off the area around the family's home in West Pembroke Pines as they conducted their investigation. A Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue vehicle was present, and NBC6 noted an individual holding a baby making their way to the truck shortly before it departed. Arys Martinez was later seen conversing with police officers before she was escorted to a patrol car. According to NBC Miami, Howard faces additional scrutiny due to a history of domestic violence and related charges.

Howard's legal challenges extend back to 2022, with two arrests for domestic violence, one of which involved Martinez as the alleged victim while she was holding their newborn daughter. Despite a second arrest leading to a probation violation, his probation was reinstated after a judge agreed with the state's assessment that Howard was not a danger to the community. His community ties, mental condition, and recovery efforts were cited as factors in this decision. Subsequent charges arising from a 2023 arrest were later dropped by the state.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies