'I just started crying hysterically:' Woman details baby's rescue from dumpster

KXAN Staff - AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A newborn girl was found in a dumpster in north Austin Wednesday morning and now police are trying to piece together what happened. In an afternoon press conference, Austin police said the child is in fair condition.

The dumpster was located at the Mira Vista Apartment located at 9601 Middle Fiskville Rd., which is near Rundberg Lane. Austin police say they responded to a check welfare call around 6:55 a.m. after a passerby spotted the infant. A witness who saw the baby tells KXAN the girl still had her umbilical cord attached.

Teresa Reese, who lives in the complex, says she was getting ready to take her daughter to school when she saw a man hovering over the dumpster. When she approached the man, he asked her for the name of the apartment complex and he proceeded to tell her that there was a baby in the dumpster. "I just started crying hysterically," Reese said.

"Without the 911 call, the baby may not have been discovered in time," Officer Destiny Winston said.

Austin-Travis County EMS took the baby to Dell Children's Medical Center where she was initially listed in critical condition, but by Wednesday afternoon, she was listed in fair condition.

Reese said, "It looked to me like she was crying but nothing was coming out, but I wanted to hear the words that she was alive so the minute they said she was alive, I just started praising God." She continued, "My life will never be the same because of this experience... No child should ever have to go through that."

The APD Child Abuse Unit is investigating. Police say an arrest has not been made and they have no suspects at this time. A police spokesperson says the person responsible could possibly face child abuse and child endangerment charges.

The Police Department reminded people that unharmed newborn babies can be brought to any hospital, fire station or emergency medical services (EMS) station in Texas without the fear of being prosecuted for abandonment or neglect. For more on designated Safe Havens, visit the Department of Family and Protective Services website.

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