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Althea Johnson mugshot

‘Trail of blood’ helps detectives find ‘mom’ who dumped newborn in trash: Police

Authorities arrested a Texas woman on Tuesday, two weeks after they found a newborn baby inside an Austin apartment dumpster.

KXAN reports that the newborn was found inside a dumpster on Oct. 25, at the Mira Vista Apartment homes off of Middle Fiskville Road, at around 6:55 a.m. A dumpster diving man found the baby alive and crying after he moved a piece a wood that someone placed over the infant.

When authorities arrived, they found the baby, a little girl, with her placenta was still attached. They rushed her to a local hospital for medical treatment, where she was initially listed in critical condition. The infant is now in the custody of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

The baby’s mother, 27-year-old Althea Johnson, reportedly left a trail of blood leading from the dumpster, back to the master bathroom inside one of the apartments in the complex. According to court documents, authorities found cleaning supplies and a sponge on top of the toilet in the bathroom. Officers questioned Johnson, who initially told them that she left menstruation blood in the bathroom, but later, she allegedly admitted to dumping the infant.

“Althea Johnson knew that Baby was alive, seeing her eyes open,” the affidavit read. “Despite having a working cell phone, Althea Johnson did not call 9-1-1 or anyone else.”

Neighbor Teresa Reese told KXAN she had been suspicious of Johnson after she witnessed her outside watching the investigation on the day the infant was found. Reese said that Johnson was noticeably pregnant the day prior.

“She actually approached me. No emotion, no anything, and she was like, ‘What happened?’ And I’m like, I looked straight at her stomach, I don’t know why but I just looked straight at her stomach and I’m like, ‘Someone threw a baby in the dumpster,’ and there was no emotion. Everybody else was hysterical, we’re crying, we feel this, and with her, there was no emotion, whatsoever.”

Residents of the complex who knew Johnson’s three other children said there were warning signs something was wrong after the kids started going to a neighbor’s apartment for breakfast and snacks each day.

“They told me that the only food they got was the food that was at school,” said the neighbor. “A lot of times, they weren’t dressed properly for the weather, or you know, they’d come over and their hair wasn’t combed. I’d do what I could to get them out the door and proper for school.”

The other children were also taken into custody by DFPS.

Johnson remains behind bars with a $60,000 bail. She’s charged with abandoning a child, a felony.

[Feature Photo: Police Handout]