The child had been missing about 32 hours.
This case was “about as bizarre as it gets,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gary Davidson.
“It is hard not to think about what this child must have been through out in a field on her own in the elements,” Davidson said. “The temperature got a bit cool that evening, and it breaks your heart to think what that child must have gone through.”
Rivera was at a Thursday night party at a home on Lawrence Street in Seville, and so was Wiley and her child. Rivera is accused of paying Wiley to have sex with him, but got mad when she was called to another room before they were done. He grabbed her daughter and left at 7 a.m. Friday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The two walked along U.S. 17 until Rivera got worried that he might get in trouble, so he abandoned the girl in a field
and hitched a ride to Putnam County, the Sheriff’s Office said. Just before 5 a.m. Saturday, he called the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to report the girl missing.
At first Rivera was vague and confused, Davidson said.
“He said he had left the party with the child and was impaired and blacked out and couldn’t remember where he left the child,” the sheriff’s spokesman said.
Bloodhounds and a helicopter helped ground units in the search, but the child wasn’t found until Rivera drew a map and searchers focused on an area about two miles away from Lawrence Street. Davidson said it was relieving to find her in such good condition. She was hospitalized with dehydration and insect bites.