Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 23, 2024
Abandoned Infant on Katy Trial Discharged from Hospital, Welcomed by Foster FamilySource: Unsplash/ Ignacio Campo

The baby girl found abandoned on a Katy area walking trail has been released from hospital care and is now settling in with a foster family. The child, named Emmelie Grace Doe, was discharged from Houston Memorial West Houston hospital at around 8 p.m. Friday, as confirmed by Melissa Lanford, a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services representative. Lanford also stated that Emmelie has "successfully been placed with foster parents who will provide a safe and loving home for her," as reported by the Houston Chronicle.

The Harris County sheriff's office reported the child's discovery at 9 a.m. on June 15, found by a couple walking their dogs and child in the 5500 block of Casa Martin, on a trail near Bear Creek. Wrapped in a white blanket and still with umbilical cord attached, the couple called 911 upon finding her, having also seen a man walking away from the bridge just before. The department is searching for the man, reviewing surveillance footage in hopes of identifying him for the administration of potential child abandonment charges, according to a statement told to Click2Houston.

Texas upholds safe haven laws, commonly referred to as the Baby Moses law, allowing for the abandonment of children at designated locations such as hospitals or fire stations without facing prosecution. Despite this law and its intent to provide a safe alternative to abandonment, such instances remain infrequent. Texas has seen just 172 lawful abandonments from 2009 to 2022.

Information on any specific medicinal care or injuries Emmelie might have needed were not disclosed, though she was listed in fair condition upon her initial hospital arrival. The foster family, together with her CPS caseworker, decided on her name, as shared by Lanford. For updates on the search for the man seen leaving the area where Emmelie was found, the community is advised to follow along with the Harris County sheriff's office statements. Meanwhile, Emmelie begins her journey anew with a family prepared to offer her the beginnings of a nurturing environment.