BREAKING UPDATE: Police arrest mother of baby found in dumpster in Northeast Austin


Austin police have identified the mother of a baby found in a dumpster on Oct. 25 as 27-year-old Althea Johnson.

Johnson was arrested on Tuesday morning on a charge of abandoning a child, according to Austin police.

Johnson’s newborn girl was found in a dumpster at an apartment complex in the 9600 block of Middle Fiskville Road around 7 a.m. as temperatures dropped to 51 degrees in the area.

Medics found the baby in serious, if not critical condition and rushed her to the Dell Children’s Medical Center for treatment. A Child Protective Services spokeswoman said the infant was released from the hospital and returned to her family, though additional specifics were not available. 

Austin police officer Destiny Winston, a department spokeswoman, said without the 911 call, first responders may not have arrived in time to save the child.

The day after the child was found, police said they had identified the mother, but did not publicly name her or file charges until Tuesday.

Abandoning a child is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director
Packed town hall showcases finalists for Austin Public Health director

A town hall Wednesday night showcased the two finalists running to become Austin Public Health’s next director. Stephanie Hayden, the current interim director, and Dr. Philip Huang, with the department’s Disease Prevention and health Promotion Division, are the two remaining candidates vying to lead the department that manages a variety...
Austin police seek help finding missing woman, 79
Austin police seek help finding missing woman, 79

Austin police are asking for the public’s help in finding a 79-year-old woman that went missing in North Austin.  Herminia Gomez was last seen Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. near the 300 block of Home Place, officials said. She was driving a 2005 Gray Ford Taurus with Texas license plates CK8-D660.  Gomez is about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs...
Texas Democrats see big jump in turnout on first day of early voting

In the state’s 15 counties with the most registered voters, 51 percent more Democrats voted Tuesday, the first day of early voting for the party’s March 6 primary, than voted on the first day of early of voting for the 2014 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the number of Republican primary voters on Tuesday increased by just 16 percent in...
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?

Whether Gov. Greg Abbott spares death row inmate Thomas Whitaker from Thursday evening’s scheduled execution could hinge on how much trust the governor places on the group of advisers who recommended mercy in the case. Spurred by the father who Whitaker tried to have killed in 2003, all seven members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles supported...
Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police have identified a man who was fatally shot during an officer-involved shooting on Monday as 23-year-old Thomas Vincent Alvarez. Police also named seven officers who were placed on administrative leave after opening fire on Alvarez as Matthew Henion, DeAndre Wright, Nicholas Grebhart, Benjamin Rogers, Robert Brady, Rafael Rosales and Khristof...
More Stories