At first, Albert Peterson thought he heard a cat meowing in a nearby bush.
But Peterson, who was on his way to work at 5 a.m., discovered something completely different: an hours-old newborn baby, covered in ants and dirt, laying in a flowerbed.
“I heard something like a cat,” Peterson told Channel 2 News. “She was there on the ground in the flower bed with ants. She was covered from head to toe and all in her ears... She had a lot of strength too. She was fighting.”
John Baldwin, who was also on his way to work, recorded the first moments he and Peterson discovered the distressed newborn in Houston, Texas.
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“Bro, that’s crazy. Somebody left their baby out here. You gotta call 911, bro,” he said in the recording.
The child was less than an hour old, and still had her umbilical cord attached.
A trail of blood was found leading to a nearby apartment.
Detectives knocked on the apartment’s door, but the residents refused to open it. And when a couple finally did, they denied knowing anything about the child.
But then a 21-year-old woman in the apartment admitted that she was the baby’s mother, according to ABC7.
It is believed that the woman gave birth to the child in the apartment, according to investigators, and then left the baby outside in the bushes.
“It’s like they just left the baby out there like it was trash,” Baldwin said.
Both the mother and another person were taken into custody. The mother is undergoing a psychological and medical evaluation.
No charges have been filed.
The child will be taken into temporary custody until a relative can be found to take care of the baby, a Child Protective Services spokesperson said.
The newborn was taken to a local hospital in Texas. Despite everything that happened, she is listed in good condition.
“Had this neighbor not been here, we’d be looking at a homicide,” Harris County Deputy Thomas Gilliland said. “It’s a miracle the child was found.”