The Texas woman who abandoned her hours-old newborn in the bushes outside the apartment where she lives has been charged with child abandonment. According to authorities, 21-year-old Sidney Ann Woytasczyk was arrested on Monday without incident and could face up to 20 years in prison.
As Faithwire reported, Albert Peterson, a neighbor of Woytasczyk’s at the Cypress Creek apartment complex, stumbled upon the distraught infant—umbilical cord still attached—around 5 a.m. on Thursday morning, after hearing cries coming from the bushes.
“I heard some crying and whining and crying, and I kept walking until I got closer to the noise, and then I looked at the ground and there was a baby down there,” Albert Peterson told KHOU. “She had the mucus and the blood and umbilical cord and everything. That’s just sad, for a human being to do another human being like that.”
Authorities believe Woytasczyk was alone in the kitchen of her apartment when she delivered her baby on August 10. She cut the umbilical cord and left the child outside in the dirt, before returning home to clean the kitchen and fall asleep. According to authorities, she dozed for about five hours.
At some point, Deandre Skillern, Woytasczyk’s boyfriend and the father of the child, came over to visit. He was completely unaware she had given birth. Skillern maintains he did not know his girlfriend was pregnant, though he allegedly confronted her several months ago about the possibility and she denied being with child. He has not been charged in the case.
As the New York Daily News reports, Deputy Kimberly Thomas said that while Woytasczyk told authorities she had no idea she was pregnant and panicked when gave birth, investigators are not convinced.
“We believe that she was trying to hide the fact that she was pregnant and gave birth from her boyfriend,” Sgt. Matthew Ferguson said.
Though the newborn was initially hospitalized with a bacterial infection, likely from the improper removal of the umbilical chord, and rapid heart rate, she is now said to be in “good condition” and under the care of Child Protective Services. The baby’s father and maternal grandmother, Tina Woytasczyk, are seeking custody, and CPS has been flooded with calls from people looking to adopt the little girl, but no decisions have been made.