A newborn baby was left abandoned on a hot Texas walking trail. Authorities want to know why.

A premature baby girl was found abandoned along a Texas walking trail Saturday and authorities are trying to figure out who left her there.

A couple was walking with their child and dogs when they found the newborn baby on a bridge near a cul de sac in Katy, about 33 miles west of Houston. They called the sheriff’s office about the infant around 9 a.m. Saturday morning said Sgt. Juan Garcia with the sheriff’s office’s Child Abuse Unit at a press conference.

Deputies showed up and spoke to two witnesses who found a baby naked and wrapped in a towel. EMS took the child to a hospital, where she was listed as being in stable condition.

A close-up of the foot of a 6-month-old baby on May 25, 2023. Child pictured is not the one mentioned in this story.
A close-up of the foot of a 6-month-old baby on May 25, 2023. Child pictured is not the one mentioned in this story.

“Right now, we have an unknown male who dropped the child off at the location right here located at the 5400 block of Casa Martin Drive,” Garcia said, adding that there may be video footage of the person who dropped off the baby.

The baby girl was “freshly born” and still had placenta attached to her body, he said.

The person who left the child there could face abandonment and endangerment charges, Garcia said at the conference.

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When asked about the likelihood of someone finding the baby before temperatures became dangerously hot, Garcia said it’s a “blessing” that the family found the child.

“They were able to notice right away a male walking away from a white towel,” Garcia said. “They discovered the child and immediately … contacted 911. The child wasn't out in these elements, which is very hot right now, for a very long time.”

He noted that Texans who can’t care for their children can rely on the Baby Moses Law, which legalizes dropping babies off at safe spaces such as hospitals, fire stations, free-standing emergency centers or emergency medical services stations.

Regarding the baby left outside on Saturday, Garcia noted that the situation “is not normal but … we don't know the elements behind it.”

“The child is going to be ascertained for any medical issues or anything like that, testing, and then once the child has … cleared with a doctor, of course CPS will step in and then provide some kind of housing or foster care for the child,” Garcia said.

He said the mother who found the child on Saturday was “very emotional,” in part because she has a child of her own.

He said investigators were still reviewing video footage and canvassing the area, speaking to neighbors and looking for potential witnesses.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office also shared updates about the case over the weekend. He said investigators are looking for info about the male who dropped the child off.

“We are seeking info about a young Hispanic or White male, slim, fair complexion with black hair, (who) was holding the infant wrapped in a towel,” he wrote on Facebook. “He was wearing a black shirt, possibly gray pants. The male was on foot on the Plantation Lakes walking trail."

The sheriff’s office asks that anyone with information call them at (713) 830-3250 or Crime Stoppers of Houston at (713) 222-8477.

Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY's NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757. Follow her on Twitter at @SaleenMartin or email her at sdmartin@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Newborn baby found abandoned on Texas walking trail under investigation