Glimmer of hope: Newborn taken from homeless couple - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Glimmer of hope: Newborn taken from homeless couple

Reporter: Lindsay Cohen

A story of heartbreak now appears to have a glimmer of hope.

Baby Mariannah, taken from her parents at just 2 weeks old, will likely return to a foster family. That family - much closer than the newborn's parents had ever hoped for.

"I said, 'Say that again?'" said Mariannah's mother, Lori Benway, recounting her disbelief at the news. "[Bishop Avis Hill] goes, 'We're getting her tomorrow.' I said, 'Thank you very much!'"

Hill showed us the forms that comfirm his foster care of Mariannah. That means the baby will be living just across the street from where the her parents are staying - at Westgate Tabernacle Church in West Palm Beach where Hill is the leader.

The Florida Department of Children and Families removed Mariannah from her parents on May 22. The couple had another child taken away from them last year in Massachusetts following allegations of child abuse. A DCF investigator told a judge that's why they took Mariannah; even though, there were no allegations of abuse against her here.

While Mariannah's case makes its way through the courts, the newborn will now be in Hill's care.

"Even though, they can't hold the child and nurture the child, they know the baby's in good hands," he said. "It's just next door; it's kind [of] like we're going to be their babysitter," he said smiling.

The Hills have volunteered to foster the child for as long as necessary. Her biological mother prays it won't be long.

"Being at Westgate, it's actually getting me to really believe that I can actually pull this and get my life turned around," Benway said, "and have a normal life with my daughter."

Hill expects to receive the child sometime Thursday. A custody hearing is scheduled for her parents for June 18.

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