Texas

Teen said she found the baby alone in the woods — but it was hers, Texas cops say

Harris County Sheriff’s investigators marked off the area where a 17-year-old mom said she found a baby, before an investigation revealed the baby was actually hers.
Harris County Sheriff’s investigators marked off the area where a 17-year-old mom said she found a baby, before an investigation revealed the baby was actually hers. Video screenshot

Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department marked off a section of the wooded area in northwest Houston Wednesday where a 17-year-old said she had found a newborn baby, crying and alone, with the umbilical cord still attached.

But the account that teen gave 911 operators didn’t hold up when investigators began to question her, KTRK reported.

It turns out, the section of woods where the teenager said she found the baby was just a few hundred feet from an apartment unit with blood-smeared walls, where deputies found a placenta, according to the station.

It was her apartment unit, KPRC reported. Police believe she had the baby in that apartment, then lied to 911 operators hours later to report finding the baby in the woods, according to the station.

Investigators also found the placenta in that apartment unit, according to KTRK.

Now they’re wondering, “Why?”

Why would somebody lie, give us a different version of the story, that the baby was found here,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters at the scene. “And obviously cause a big response. But we’re just grateful that the child’s okay.”

In fact, the newborn had never been taken into the woods near the apartment after all, according to KHOU. Gonzalez told the media gathered there at the scene that deputies found the newborn in the same apartment unit, unharmed except for being dehydrated.

The baby was taken to Children’s Medical Center, The Woodlands, KHOU reported.

The mother, who police have not identified, has yet to be charged. Gonzalez said that since the baby was not technically abandoned, he’s unsure of which specific law the mother may have broken by allegedly calling in the false report.

Both the mother and her baby were in good condition Thursday, expected to make full recoveries.

In Texas, the Safe Haven Law allows parents of a baby younger than 2 months to drop him or her off with an employee of a hospital, fire station or EMS station if they cannot care for the child. It also protects the identity of anyone who does so.

In 1982, two men arrived at a house near Janssen Place in Kansas City to shovel snow and found a baby girl abandoned on the back doorstep. Thirty-six years later, one of the men, Bob Hopkins, is on a mission to find out what happened to her.

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