8-month-old girl found abandoned in Livingston shed is now in state custody

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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A hearing to determine who will get custody of the girl is scheduled for next month. The baby's father is facing several charges, including felony injury to a child and vehicle theft.

LIVINGSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A baby girl found abandoned in a shed in Livingston is now in the custody of the state.

A hearing to determine who will get custody of the child is scheduled for next month in Montgomery County.

The 8-month-old girl is recovering after a husband and wife found her injured and alone in a shed outside their home on Sept. 24.

The baby's father, 43-year-old Jason Guynes, is behind bars, accused of dumping his daughter before taking off in a stolen vehicle.

A dog led the homeowners to the discovery of the abandoned baby.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Father charged after allegedly leaving abandoned baby in strangers' Livingston shed

"I turned around and told my wife, 'Call 911. There's a baby in there.' She was like, 'Huh?' She said, 'What are you talking about?'" homeowner John McClain said. "I told her, 'Call 911.'"

John and his wife Katharine McClain noticed the baby had bruises around her face and body. Katharine said she wrapped the baby girl in a towel, and she immediately fell asleep in her arms.

"I'm a mom, you know, and how could someone just leave a baby?" Katharine McClain said.

The baby's father is accused of leaving her there and has been charged with felony injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, felony child endangerment/abandonment, and felony vehicle theft, according to Livingston Police Department. He is currently in Polk County Jail with a combined bond of over $200,000.

The bizarre chain of events began at about 3:30 a.m. when police in Lincoln, Texas, received a call from Union Pacific Railroad that their train in Livingston had possibly struck someone laying parallel next to the track. After an extensive search effort lasting several hours, no one was ever found. Officials did recover a pair of pants, a cell phone, and boots.

At about 7:30 a.m., Livingston police received a call on Youngs Lane, where a caller said his vehicle was just stolen from his residence, and the assailant was wearing a light-colored shirt and his underwear.

John and Katharine McClain were the ones who contacted the police after they were awakened by a loud noise and checked their surveillance camera footage. Video shows the suspect attempting to break into their son's trucks before the suspect drives off in a neighbor's car.

"We did a report on a stolen vehicle and police left," John McClain said.

It wasn't until hours later, at 9:30 a.m., when McClain said he found the baby in his shed because his dog kept barking.

"I went and opened the door, and the baby was looking up at me," John McClain said.

The baby suffered a broken bone in her leg and was taken to Texas Children's Hospital. While police processed the scene, the Livingston Police Department was notified by the San Jacinto Sheriff's Office that the stolen vehicle had been found in Coldspring, Texas, and Guynes was detained.

Deputies said Guynes had visible injuries and stated he had been struck by a train. Guynes told officials he left his daughter in a shed but could not remember where, according to officials.

Investigators later found the Chevrolet truck they believe Guynes was driving in an extremely wooded area near the location where he said he was struck by the train.

ABC13 got into contact with the baby's mother, who said she is 8 months old and shares custody with the baby's father. Guynes does have a criminal record, but the mother of the child said he served his time and has always been a loving father, and has never worried about her child's safety in his care. Family members tell ABC13 they spoke to Guynes after his arrest and he seemed erratic and was not acting himself. She is thankful for the couple who found her daughter, as it could have been a much worse situation.

According to records, Guynes was sentenced in 2018 to four years in prison for intoxicated assault out of Montgomery County. He was released on mandatory supervision in September 2020 and discharged from mandatory supervision in September 2022. A warrant was issued for his arrest in February 2022 for failure to report in to his parole. He was arrested last weekend, but the warrant was withdrawn because it was past his discharge date, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

A spokesperson for Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said they are investigating alongside law enforcement to make sure the baby stays safe and her medical needs are met.