Couple Saves Injured Baby Allegedly Abandoned by Dad

Texas' McClain family found 9-month-old in their shed after man appeared to steal neighbor's truck
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2022 8:38 AM CDT
First, a Strange Man. Then: 'Call 911, There's a Baby!'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/digicomphoto)

A Texas family got quite the surprise over the weekend after finding an infant in their backyard shed, amid troubling circumstances. Katharine and John McClain say they were awoken early Saturday by the loud sounds of a truck driving away from their neighbor's house on the outskirts of Livingston, and when they checked their security cameras, it appeared a nearly naked man had stolen the vehicle. They alerted their neighbors, who called the cops, but, as KHOU puts it, "the excitement they thought was over had really just begun." Investigators tell Click2Houston that about three hours later, the McClains' dog began barking outside their backyard shed, prompting John McClain to check it out.

Upon so doing, he called out to his wife: "Call 911, there's a baby," she says. A 9-month-old girl was on the ground inside the shed, and after getting the OK from the 911 dispatcher to do so, Katharine McClain scooped her up. "She had on a little dress and no diaper," Katharine McClain tells USA Today, adding she felt "complete and utter sorrow for ... what had or may have happened to her." The McClains' security footage showed the man who'd taken their neighbor's truck had earlier tried to get into their own vehicles, and that he'd then gone into the shed with the baby and spent a few hours there before leaving. Police say the infant was transported to Texas Children's Hospital, where she was treated for a broken leg that had to be pinned. She's expected to recover from her injuries.

Police say the baby's father, identified as Clifford Jason Guynes, was later found in the stolen truck and arrested, booked into Polk County Jail, and charged with injury to a child and abandoning or endangering a child. Authorities are trying to figure out how Guynes, who's being held on a $200,000 bond, was roaming free: The 43-year-old, who has a string of arrests on drug and assault charges to his name, had been jailed earlier this month in Montgomery County after being detained on a warrant for violating parole. Katharine McClain, meanwhile, herself a mom of three teens, says in a Sunday Facebook post that although she was "distraught" to have found the little girl in that condition, "I'm just happy that he left her there for us to find to get her some help." (More abandoned baby stories.)

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