A Texas man has been arrested on multiple charges after a couple found his baby abandoned in their backyard shed.
On Saturday morning, John and Katharine McClain awoke as their neighbour’s pickup truck left the driveway, with their surveillance camera later revealing that a man in his underwear had been checking the doors on their vehicles before reportedly stealing the truck from next door, KHOU reported.
The McClains, of Livingston, north of Houston, called their neighbours, who reported that the truck had been stolen. Hours later, security footage shows the McClains’ dog Archie barking at the shed in their backyard.
“Come out here with him about the time I heard a cry,” John McClain told KHOU. “So, when I opened it up, the baby was laying right by the motorcycle.”
“He said, ‘Call 911. There’s a baby.’ I thought he was just kidding. I was like, ‘Okay, a baby snake, a baby what?’ He said, ‘Call 911 quick. There’s an infant in here,’” Ms McClain said.
She called 911 and the dispatcher told her it was okay to pick up the child. She took the girl up to the home, where photos show her holding the girl wrapped in a blanket as they waited for the emergency services to arrive.
The child was evaluated at the home before she was taken to Houston by airlift. She was flown to Texas Children’s Hospital, where a broken femur was pinned. It’s expected that she’ll recover, KPRC reported.
“I’m a mom. I was pretty frantic and distraught. It’s still kind of got me a little bit,” Ms McClain told KHOU.
The couple said their surveillance footage shows the suspect – later identified as 43-year-old Clifford Jason Guynes from Splendora, according to KPRC – going into the shed and coming out hours later before stealing the truck.
“I just hope he comes out and takes care of his kid, cleans his act up,” Mr McClain told KHOU.
“I just want her to be happy and live a good life, and if they give her to me, I’ll take her in a heartbeat and she’ll never have any worries again,” Ms McClain told the outlet.
KPRC reported that Guynes has been charged with abandoning and endangering a child. He’s been taken to Polk County Jail with bond set at $200,000.
The Houston outlet reported that he entered the shed at around 3am and stole the neighbour’s truck at about 6am.
Investigators from the Livingston Police Department reviewed the security footage and tried to locate fingerprints on the vehicles. Some of the vehicles also had blood on them, investigators said, according to KPRC.
Livingston Police were told that Guynes has been found behind the wheel of the truck by San Jacinto County authorities.
About three hours after the truck had been reported stolen, the nine-month-old girl was found in the shed, investigators told KPRC.
“I was freaking out. I looked down and this little baby was just looking up at me. They gave me permission to pick her up and wrapped her up in a towel and I ended up holding her making sure she was okay and safe. Traumatic experience,” Ms McClain told the outlet.
The authorities are trying to understand why Guynes was out of jail following a 16 September arrest in Montgomery County on a blue warrant from the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole. It has been reported that Guynes has been detained several times on charges connected to assaults and drug violations, KPRC noted.