Mother charged with child abandonment after baby found in flower bed
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A 21-year-old mother has been charged with child abandonment for allegedly abandoning her newborn baby in some bushes near her Northwest Harris County apartment on Thursday.
Sidney Ann Woytasczyk, 21, has been charged with Abandoning a Child Under 15, a second-degree felony. Harris County deputies say she gave birth around midnight on the morning of August 10, 2017, in the kitchen of her apartment, then placed the baby on a pathway outside her apartment and went to bed.
Authorities believe the baby was outside for nearly five and a half hours before someone found her.
"I don't have words for that. Thank goodness that man was here," says Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
Police say that a baby girl was discovered in the grass at the Bridges of Cypress Creek Apartments near 17710 Red Oak Dr. The baby was transported to Texas Children's Hospital in The Woodlands.
Harris county investigators say that the baby was found, when a neighbor had been walking down the sidewalk near the apartment complex. The baby who was just hours old would have died had the man not encountered her. The neighbor discovered her in the bushes around 5:30 a.m. He told deputies that the newborn was naked, covered in ants, blood, and even still had her umbilical chord attached. The neighbor then cleaned her up and got her covered and called 911. Deputies followed a trail of blood to a unit here.
The 21-year-old woman initially told them the newborn wasn't hers, and then she confessed to giving birth to the baby and leaving her in the bushes. Neighbors couldn't believe what they heard.
"How can you just do something like that? It just shows you're heartless."
Deputies say the baby is doing, and she is expected to survive. The baby is currently in the custody of Child Protective Services.
"What makes these cases a crime is that in this instance, the mother left the baby in a bush...and there's no care for it," says Chris Tritico, Senior Legal Analyst.
The woman is in custody of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
"An infant an hour old left in the bushes where the child couldn't be reasonably cared for, that makes this a second degree felony which in Texas carries a felony of 2 to 20 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine," says Tritico.