A 22-year-old Houston woman was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for abandoning her newborn daughter in an apartment complex flower bed where a neighbor found the baby covered with ants, reported the Associated Press.
State District Judge Katherine Cabaniss Parsley sentenced 22-year-old Sidney Woytasczyk after she pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of child abandonment.
Woytasczyk’s arrest occurred last August when investigators followed a trail of blood from the baby to her Houston apartment where she'd given birth hours earlier.
A neighbor, Albert Peterson, discovered the baby girl as he was leaving for work, according to court documents.
At first he thought he heard a cat crying, but when he approached the sound, he saw a naked infant on the ground, with her umbilical cord still attached and ants crawling on her, reported the Dallas Morning News.
"I said, 'Oh, man, there is a baby right here,'" Peterson told KTRK-TV. "The baby was brand new."
He and his wife notified authorities after taking the baby inside and wiping the ants off of her.
Deputies said the woman told investigators she didn't know she was pregnant and feared the baby would come between her and the father. The father, DeAndre Skillern, was not aware she had gone into labor. He was not charged in the case.
According to court documents, Woytascyzk told deputies that she had had intense back pain on the night of the baby’s birth and she felt like she needed to go to the bathroom. While she was in the kitchen, she realized she was giving birth.
Woytascyzk said that she didn't know what to do, so she went outside and put the newborn girl on the sidewalk and then went to sleep.
The infant was turned over to Child Protective Services.
(Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s Office)