Florida woman got pregnant in jail, prompting investigation

A woman who has been in a Florida county jail since June 2022 is pregnant, according to her sister and her attorney, who are demanding answers from corrections officials. 

Daisy Link, 28, called her family on Christmas Day to say she was almost four months pregnant, according to her sister, Crystal Barreto.

“I was lost for words. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Barreto, who lives in Homestead, Florida, said in a phone interview. “Right away, I was concerned about Daisy and her safety.” 

Daisy Link.
Daisy Link.Courtesy Crystal Barreto

Link is being held at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County on a charge of second-degree murder, jail records show. She is also charged with battery by a detainee on a visitor or other detainee. Her case has not gone to trial yet. 

In her first interview about Link’s pregnancy, Link’s criminal defense attorney, Marlene Montaner, told NBC News that the second-degree murder charge stems from a domestic violence incident in which Link fired a single gunshot while attempting to protect herself from an abusive partner. She shared photos with NBC News of Link with blood on her shoulders and head that Montaner said was the result of abuse Link had endured days before she fired the weapon in June 2022.

Both Montaner and Barreto have been trying to get Link released on house arrest, especially now that she is pregnant. Neither knows how she got pregnant. The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department did not comment on who may have impregnated Link and Barreto said that her sister has not told her what happened.

“My sister, when she was able to call us here and there, was trying to tell us pieces of the story, but is very scared to say anything over the phone because her calls are being recorded,” Barreto said.

Montaner said “the allegations right now are that it’s another inmate,” but said she does not yet have additional information. The county jail houses male and female inmates, separated by floor. 

Montaner added that she doubts “implausible” reports that were published in other media outlets that suggested the pregnancy may have been the result of a male inmate passing semen through an air conditioning vent. Barreto also said she doesn’t believe that story.

Regardless, Montaner said, she blames the corrections officials. 

“No matter how you slice this for them, at the end, they are at fault for her pregnancy,” she said, adding: “I want answers.”

 Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.
Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.Google Maps

A spokesman for Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation said in an emailed statement that the matter is under “active investigation” and that corrections staff were told by an inmate on Dec. 23 that she believed she is pregnant. The pregnancy was confirmed after a “thorough medical exam through our Correctional Health Services partners,” the statement said. 

According to Barreto, Link said she had tried telling jail officials about her pregnancy earlier. 

“They laughed at her. They told her, ‘You’ve been in here going on two years. Who are you going to be pregnant by, aliens?’ Like, mocking her,” Barreto said.

Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation declined to comment further on the investigation but said it has seen no evidence that the pregnancy was the result of a sexual assault.

“While there is no evidence of sexual battery against our inmate at this time, the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy are currently under active investigation,” the department’s spokesman said.

Pregnant inmates receive “timely and appropriate prenatal care,” he added.

“The MDCR has healthcare procedures in place to ensure the safety of all those in our custody, any unborn child, and staff, in any case of pregnancy while in our care,” he said.

But Link’s family remains concerned.

“Nobody should come out pregnant in jail. This is really ridiculous,” Barreto said. “We’re just very worried about Daisy and her well-being, her safety and the safety of her unborn child.”