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Jogger finds missing child abandoned in bushes

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During her morning jog in north Houston, Hong Nguyen stumbled across an unusual sight: a baby girl partially hidden in the bushes near the side of the road.

HOUSTON, Texas — During her morning jog in north Houston, Hong Nguyen stumbled across an unusual sight: a baby girl partially hidden in the bushes near the side of the road.

Strapped into a car seat on the ground, the 8-month-old child was crying.

“I called 911,” Nguyen said. “And I stayed there with the baby.”

The chance encounter Monday in an unpopulated area near an industrial zone may have saved the little girl’s life.

She had been missing for about six hours after a man stole the car she was in from outside a gas station in the early hours. Her mother had stopped to buy a soda, leaving the car keys in the ignition.

Bitten by ants

Authorities had been frantically searching for the baby, identified by CNN affiliate KTRK as Genesis Hailey.

The car was recovered a few blocks from the gas station about two hours after it was stolen. But there was no sign of the child or her car seat.

Police said Genesis appeared to be in good health when she was found, apart from being hungry and suffering what appeared to be several ant bites.

“I did spot a couple of ants on the baby and I was able to get them off,” said Albert Pizana, the officer who responded to the jogger’s emergency call.

‘Middle of nowhere’

But police officials said they couldn’t comprehend the decision to leave the baby in such an isolated place.

“I don’t know what kind of an animal would do this to a child,” said Lt. H. Lopez, of the Houston Police Department’s homicide division. “Leaving the child in the middle of nowhere.”

Police officials also faced questions from reporters about the mother’s decision to leave her child in the car with the engine on.

They said she was in the gas station’s store for a matter of seconds before she saw the thief jump in the car and start driving away with the door still open.

He was in such a rush that he backed the car into the railing of the gas pump before he sped off with his infant passenger in the back.

The mother ran out of the store but wasn’t quick enough to catch the car.

“It’s a good reminder for the public not to leave their vehicles running, especially with a baby inside,” Lopez said.

Swaddled in a uniform

Police are still looking for the suspect, a man in his late teens or early 20s.

It’s unclear exactly when the baby was taken from the car and put in the bushes. Police said it’s possible she had been left there since the early hours of Monday.

Pizana said Genesis was crying intermittently when he and his partner got to her.

They took her inside their car, and he swaddled her in his uniform shirt to try to calm her. His partner retrieved her pacifier for her.

Pizana declined to speculate what could have happened to the baby if the jogger hadn’t taken that particular route Monday morning.

“It makes you want to go home and hug your kids even tighter,” he said.


  • Cindi

    It makes me wonder if the mother didn’t have a plan to rid herself of the child. Now a days this is a common but sad thing.Please make sure this child is safe AND WANTED with its mother.For the baby to have been dump in a remote area, yet the car was found only a few blocks from the station it was stolen from spots a red flag for me. Guess I am an Overly protective mom these day I guess.

    • Monica

      I doubt that was the case. I think if anything she’s just a tiny bit self involved.. didnt want to go to the trouble of taking the baby into the gas station with her since she was only gonna be in there a second. But she also didnt want her to be hot or risk leaving her with the windows down, so she left the car running to keep her cool (and maybe music to keep her entertained) and ran inside. She didnt consider that car thieves dont usually check the back seat before they take ur car. The kid who took the car probly heard the baby crying, pulled over, put the baby out, then freaked out and bailed on the car too. They dont really say whether this “isolated area” was close the gas station or not, they want to be dramatic to make ppl read the article I guess. Sad story but glad the baby was ok!

  • FaithC

    If you are going to be so stupid as to leave your child in the car when going into the store, at least turn the car off and lock the doors. This mother is irresponsible and should have to take parenting classes. Not that it would help considering it did not occur to her that an unlocked, running car might be a target for a thief. Just so glad they found this child and she is OK.

    • FaithC

      Fox 8 I did not post this. Jehtro, Badonkadonk, Sinner must be at it again. I’m trying to find a job instead of sitting here posting on fox 8 all day. Oh wait, that is my job

    • Nylara

      So you are saying you WANT the mother to leave a baby in a car with no AC and locked in. I would rather a mother have the car running so the baby dont die from heat, or better yet take the baby IN WITH HER. But turnint the car off and locking the doors is your answer….. Sad sad sad. I hope you dont have kids

  • Tracey Minard

    The perp would of had to have touched the car seat in order to remove the child and would of had to have touched the door handle….why dont the use this so called crime lab forensics and finger print….they might be surprised the perp actually had nothing to do with leaving the child …or maybe it was a staged incident by the mother to look like a car jacking….now days nothing would surprise me.

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