A Houston man on his way to work found a newborn baby covered in ants and with the umbilical cord still attached crying in a flower bed next to his apartment complex on Thursday, Aug. 10.
Police said that the girl had been born less than an hour before. The infant was still covered in blood and mucus, Albert Peterson, the neighbor who found her told ABC.
“I looked down. I said, ‘Oh, man, there is a baby right here,'” said Peterson. “The baby was brand new.”
Peterson brought the infant to his home in the Bridges of Cypress Creek apartment complex at around 5:30 a.m. His wife washed the girl and placed her on a blanket while he called 911.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office credits Peterson for saving the girl’s life. Peterson noticed the girl when he heard her muffled cries.
“I picked the baby up, and the baby had mucus and blood and all kinds of stuff all over her body,” Peterson said.
“When I seen her, I seen ants and stuff all over. So I picked her up,” he said.
The detectives who responded to the emergency call quickly found the mother by following a trail of blood to her apartment on the 17700 block of Red Oak Drive in Houston, according to Dallas News.
“She walked all the way around that corner bleeding,” Peterson said. “You see her footprints on the ground.”
When investigators followed the trail of blood to the door and knocked, the people inside refused to answer at first, according to KPRC. The 21-year-old mother denied knowing anything about the baby at first, but later admitted to abandoning it.
Police arrested the mother. She will undergo a psychological evaluation and a medical checkup. The man who was in the apartment was also arrested.
The infant girl was carried to term and healthy, according to the detectives. She was taken to Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands, according to Chron.
But she could have suffered a grim fate if Peterson did not act on a hunch when he heard her cries.
“Without this neighbor, we could be looking at probably a whole different scene,” said Deputy Thomas Gilliland. “It would be more of a homicide.”
It is still unknown what charges the couple will face. Child Protective Services (CPS) is working together with the police in the investigation.
“I’m in shock. There’s a hospital, not even a block down the road and if the mother was so worried about the infant’s safety she could’ve easily gone to drop off the baby,” Roger Coreas, a resident, told KPRC.
The infant will be in the care of CPS while the agency looks for a relative who would be willing to take temporary and permanent custody.
CPS advises new mothers who can’t take care of their infants to “to call the hotline (1-877-904-SAVE), or find a hospital, fire station, or EMS station and give their child to an employee there.”
“It’s shocking, it’s frustrating at the same time, because if you just can’t, can’t do it. There are other ways of going about it,” resident Rontrell Lucas said.
“If you feel like you just can’t do it, there’s someone out there that can.”
Mom Allegedly Abandoned Her 10-Year-Old Special-Needs Son in the Woods, Police Say
A mom from Millville, New Jersey, is accused of abandoning her 10-year-old son with special needs in the woods all by himself.
According to New Jersey State Police a passing motorist by chance spotted the boy on Thursday, Aug. 3, in a wooded area near the visitor center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, CBS News reported.
The 39-year-old mom is identified as Debra Wisler, she lives in the Millville Township. Her son suffered only minor injuries from the incident.
State authorities said Wisler abandoned her son when she found out he was not eligible for a child’s program at the military base, according to CBS News.
A Facebook post by the New Jersey State Police said that on Friday, Aug. 4, Wisler talked with troopers at Bordentown station where detectives determined the reason she abandoned her son.
Police said the motorist got in contact with military personnel who brought the young boy to the visitor center where he was taken care of with food, water, and got evaluated by military first responders.
The boy then told visitor-center staff that his mom walked him to the woods with his luggage and just left him there all alone. He said he eventually fell asleep in the woods and woke up feeling hungry. The boy provided staff his mother’s name and phone number.
Officials then said they located his mother when he gave them her name, according to Fox News.
Wisler was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and arrested. She was released later pending a court date.
His kindergarten and first-grade teacher’s aide, Barabara Todd told CBS she was shocked at what Wisler allegedly did.
“He was her life, and I just can’t believe it,” said Todd. “She got him involved in anything that she could, and all services are available to him and her … I can’t even talk, I’m just still so shocked.”
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency located a temporary home for the boy.
On Tuesday Aug. 8, KYW-TV tried to interview Wisler at her residence, but she refused to say anything.
At this stage, the police department stresses that the charges are just accusations as of writing and the suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty.