The Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department charged a woman accused of leaving her newborn baby girl in the bushes of her apartment complex with child abandonment on Monday, KHOU reports.
If convicted, Sidney Woytasczyk, 21, faces up to 20 years in prison.
Woytasczyk reportedly told police she didn’t know she was pregnant and was afraid before she gave birth, but police are not buying her story:
“We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend,” Sgt. Matt Ferguson of the Child Abuse Division of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in an interview with KTRK.
Both her boyfriend and her mother testified they had no idea Woytasczyk was pregnant.
Deandre Skillern, the woman’s boyfriend, claims he is the father of the baby and wants custody, submitting to a DNA test to prove his paternity.
However, the baby’s maternal grandmother is also seeking custody.
At this time, authorities reportedly do not believe Skillern was part of the child abandonment.
Authorities believe that Woytasczyk hid her pregnancy to the point of delivering the child in her kitchen by herself and attempting to hide the birth out of fear of the baby coming between her and her boyfriend. That led to her dumping baby outside, investigators said.
The baby’s umbilical cord was ripped from her body before she was placed in the bushes without any protection, KHOU reported.
The baby reportedly was found naked outside by a neighbor after six hours, covered in ants. As a result of the ripped umbilical cord, she is suffering from a bacterial infection, KHOU reported.
Authorities believe the child was near death when the neighbor rescued her.
At this time, the baby is in CPS custody.
Donations on behalf of the baby and other CPS children can be made by calling Mary Votaw at 832-454-4163 or Be a Resource (BEAR) at 713-940-3087.
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