A newborn baby is lucky to be alive after a neighbour found her dumped in an apartment garden bed, covered in blood and crawling with ants.
The infant’s umbilical cord was reportedly still attached when Albert Peterson heard her cries and made the gut-wrenching discovery on his way to work, at Houston, Texas, about 5am Thursday.
The baby was believed to have been left alone in the dirt for six hours before she was found.
"I heard something like a cat," Mr Peterson told Channel 2 News.
"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… I’m in shock.”
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“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," Mr Peterson said.
Shocked passer-by John Baldwin got out his mobile phone to record the baby.
"I was like, 'Hey, there's a baby outside on the sidewalk… Call 911!'" he said.
Mr Peterson took the baby to his apartment, where his wife raised the alarm.
The baby’s discovery in time was hailed “a miracle,” Harris County sheriff's Deputy Thomas Gilliland told Dallas News.
"Had this neighbour not been here, we'd be looking at a homicide."
Investigators followed a blood trail to a nearby apartment, where Sidney Woytasczyk and Deandre Skillern were arrested, identified by ABC13 as the baby’s parents.
HCSO investigators say hours old infant was found. Infant female is in good condition. Female has been detained— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) August 10, 2017
The couple initially denied knowing anything about the baby, however the 21-year-old woman later admitted to being the mother, Dallas News reported. Mr Skillern maintained he did not know his partner was pregnant.
Investigators believe she delivered the baby inside the apartment then dumped the baby outside.
The baby is recovering in pre-natal ICU. Her mother faces charges for abandoning a child.
The woman's partner, who is not expected to be charged, has taken a DNA test, with results pending.
He and the baby’s maternal grandmother are fighting for custody of the child.
A hearing was held on Friday to determine who would get custody of the infant. The next appearance is scheduled for August 24.