A newborn girl was left abandoned in bushes outside a Texas apartment complex less than an hour after she was born.
North Harris County Police said the baby was found Thursday morning by a neighbor on his way to work.
“He heard a murmur and a cry, what he thought was actually a cat,” Harris County Deputy Thomas Gilliland told reporters. “He looked inside the bushes of the flower bed and found the newborn baby.”
Gilliland said the baby still had her umbilical cord attached and was covered in ants and dirt.
In a cell phone video taken by neighbor John Baldwin, the baby is seen lying on the ground screaming and crying.
“I’m in shock,” resident Roger Coreas told KPRC. “There’s a hospital, not even a block down the road.”
Investigators said a trail of blood near the bushes led them to a nearby apartment. Two people answered the door, but initially denied knowing anything about the abounded child. Gilliland reportedly said the mother, a 21-year-old woman, eventually confessed to giving birth to the baby.
Authorities said they found evidence that the baby was born inside the apartment and then taken outside and placed on the ground. In a Facebook post Thursday, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the officers who responded to the 911 call were left “heavyhearted.”
“Had this neighbor not been here, we’d be looking at a homicide,” Gilliland told reporters. “It’s a miracle the child was found.”
The baby is recovering in pre-natal ICU at Texas Children’s Hospital and “is doing wonderful,” Gilliland told the Daily News. A hearing will determine whether the child will go to Child Protective Services or a family member.
The mother was also checked out at a local hospital and is doing fine. Police said she has not said why she left the baby in the bushes, and she could face charges for abandoning a child. The father is not expected to be charged.