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Mother charged for abandoning newborn baby in NE Austin dumpster

Althea Johnson, 27, is charged with abandoning a child, a second degree felony, according to Austin Police. (Photo courtesy: Austin Police Department)

(CBS Austin) -- Police have charged the woman accused of abandoning her newborn baby last month in a Northeast Austin dumpster.

Althea Johnson, 27, is charged with abandoning a child, a second degree felony, according to Austin Police.

The baby was found Wednesday, Oct. 25, by a man collecting recyclables at the Mira Vista apartment complex in the 9600 block of Middle Fiskville Road.

"She didn't say too much about her children," said Tewana, a Mira Vista resident.

Tewana said she would regularly feed Johnson's children before school. She said when weather was bad, the children wouldn't be dressed for the conditions and she grew concerned when the children told Tewana how often they were fed.

"They told me they only eat at school, so I gave them breakfast every morning," said Tewana.

The child was hospitalized in fair condition. A Child Protective Services spokesperson says the newborn baby girl has since been released from the hospital and is now with family, along with the baby's other siblings.

Texas has a Safe Haven law for newborns that are unable to be cared for. The baby can be taken to a designated safe place, no questions asked. The baby must be 60 days or younger and can be taken to any hospital, fire or EMS station.

When the baby was found, the temperature was just under 50 degrees in Northeast Austin. Witnesses said the baby was found in a wet blanket.


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