A young woman who abandoned her newborn in a flowerbed before going inside to take a nap claimed she panicked because she didn’t know she was pregnant until she gave birth.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a neighborhood resident found a newborn infant left naked, and covered in dirt and ants, in a flowerbed outside a Harris County, Texas, apartment building Thursday morning. The baby was taken to a hospital and expected to recover, though the baby girl reportedly contracted a bacterial infection as a result of the umbilical cord being ripped out.
Investigators followed a trail of blood to the apartment of Sidney Woytasczyk, 21, who initially denied any involvement to police but later admitted the baby was hers.
On Monday, Woytasczyk was formally charged with child abandonment, the Daily News reports. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office gave a news conference the same day, announcing that Woytasczyk could face up to 20 years in prison.
Police gave further details about the incident and the arrest at the news conference. Woytasczyk reportedly gave birth in her kitchen, and told police she did not know she as pregnant. Her boyfriend, the father of the baby, also said he was unaware his girlfriend was pregnant.
Woytasczyk reportedly told police she abandoned her baby because she was scared and panicked. After she left the baby in the bushes, the young woman went back into her house and fell asleep for over five hours.
The police said at the news conference that they were not convinced Woytasczyk had no idea she was pregnant.
“We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend,” Sgt. Matthew Ferguson said, adding that the boyfriend reportedly did question his girlfriend about a possible pregnancy when he noticed changes in her body. She denied it. Sgt. Ferguson told reporters that Woytasczyk appeared to be most concerned about hiding the pregnancy and the birth from her boyfriend, believing it would come between them.
The newborn’s father has not been charged with a crime, and the baby is now in the custody of child protective services.
Feature photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office