Sidney Woytasczyk has pleaded guilty to abandoning her child months after her newborn baby girl was found in a flower bed, covered in bugs. The infant was discovered by Houston, Texas, local Albert Peterson. He found the child after investigating what he thought was a cat meowing on his way to work, according to KSAT, a San Antonio news station.
"She was there on the ground in the flower bed with ants. She was covered from head to toe and all in her ears... She had a lot of strength, too. She was fighting," said Peterson to KSAT in August of 2017.
Deputies at the time said the infant was only a few hours old and that the umbilical cord was still attached. The baby was taken to a nearby hospital where she made a full recovery after suffering a bacterial infection.
John Baldwin, another local who found the baby, recorded video of the discovery.
Police followed a trail of blood from where the child was discovered back to a nearby apartment, where residents refused to answer the door. Eventually, the occupants spoke with police, and a 21-year-old woman admitted to being the mother of the baby. At the time, Woytasczyk said she did not know she was pregnant, according to ABC 13, a Houston news station. Police believed otherwise.
"We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend," said Sergeant Matt Ferguson of the Child Abuse division of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, according to ABC 13.
Prosecutors say the mother had dropped the baby on the floor while giving birth before placing her outside. The mother was also examined by paramedics and deemed healthy. She was taken into police custody shortly thereafter.
Now, Woytasczyk has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of abandoning a child under the age of 15. She has been sentenced to four years in prison, according to The Houston Chronicle, a Texas-based news organization.
The baby's father faces no charges, according to The Star-Telegram, a Fort-Worth, Texas-based news organization.
Harris County Deputy Thomas Gilliland expressed relief that the baby survived.
“Had this neighbor not been here, we’d be looking at a homicide,” he told KSAT. “It’s a miracle the child was found.”
[Photo: Harris County Jail]