SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- Three-year-old Carmina Salcido, whose father is accused of slashing her throat during an April 14 wine country rampage that left seven people dead, was discharged from a hospital Wednesday.
About the same time Carmina was waving goodbye to doctors, nurses and staff at Petaluma Valley Hospital, she was the subject of a custody hearing in Santa Rosa.
Superior Court Judge Arnold Rosenfield and Nick Velichinsky, of the Sonoma County Social Service Department, refused comment on the outcome of the hearing but it appeared Carmina would be placed in the custody of maternal grandfather Bob Richards.
Richards picked up Carmina at the hospital, spokeswoman Mary Frost said, adding, 'I don't know if he's got custody.'
'She's in very good spirits,' Frost said. 'The doctors are really happy with her progress.'
When she was first taken to the hospital on April 15, Carmina identified her father, winery worker Ramon Salcido, as her assailant. Salcido is also accused of killing Bob Richards's wife and three daughters at their home in Cotati, Calif.
Salcido is being held without bail in an isolation cell at the county jail. He pleaded innocent to all charges last week and faces a Sept. 11 preliminary hearing.
Rosenfield had three primary options for Carmina: grant custody to the grandfather,her closest known living relative; make her a dependent of the court and place her in a foster home or make her a dependent of the court and place her with relatives.
But 'the law precludes me from saying anything about any juvenile case,' Velichinsky said after the hearing.
Carmina was found in a dump with the bodies of her two sisters, Sofia, 4, and Teresa, 1, on April 15. The throats of all three had been slashed, probably the night before. Carmina made it to a hospital in time for emergency surgery.
The children were among the seven people killed in the spree April 14.
Police said Salcido, a boozing, hot-tempered winery worker who thought his wife, Angela, was having an affair with a co-worker at the Grand Cru winery, went on his rampage after receiving a court order to pay child support to an ex-wife in Fresno.
Police said he shot and killed the winery worker, shot and wounded another winery worker, killed his wife, abducted his daughters before slashing their throats and killed mother-in-law Marian Richards and her two young daughters, who were Angela Salcido's sisters.
Bob Richards was at work when his family was murdered.
Salcido, 28, was captured in Mexico five days later and was returned to the United States without extradition proceedings because he had illegally crossed the border.
Salcido faces seven counts of first-degree murder and three of attempted murder. If convicted he could face the death penalty.
A gag order imposed on all aspects of the case is being challenged by several news organizations.