The Harris County Sheriff's Office says the child was less than an hour old when she was located covered in ants and with her umbilical cord still attached Thursday morning.
Authorities were called around 5:30 a.m. about the child at the Bridges of Cypress Creek apartment complex on Red Oak Drive.
Deputies credit a man living at the apartment for finding the newborn, before he went off to work. He shared video of the baby in the grassy area.
Another resident said he also spotted the baby on his way out when he heard her crying.
"I looked down. I said, 'Oh, man, there is a baby right here,'" recalled Albert Peterson, who found the girl. "The baby was brand new."
The muffled cries of the child caught Peterson's attention.
"I picked the baby up, and the baby had mucus and blood and all kinds of stuff all over her body," Peterson said. "When I seen her, I seen ants and stuff all over. So I picked her up."
Peterson took the girl to his apartment, cleaned her and placed her in a blanket while his wife called 911.
Peterson says it was not hard for detectives to find the mother.
"She walked all the way around that corner bleeding," Peterson said as he pointed. "You see her footprints on the ground."
Detectives say the 21-year-old mother is now in custody and undergoing psychological and medical evaluations. A man from her apartment was also taken into custody.
Detectives say the baby had been carried to term and is healthy. They admit, though, that things could have been much worse if it wasn't for Peterson.
"Without this neighbor, we could be looking at probably a whole different scene," said HCSO Deputy Thomas Gilliland. "It would be more of a homicide."
The child is at the hospital for observation. She will be turned over to CPS.
The agency will try to place the child with a relative. If the baby cannot be reunited with her mother or no family can be found, she will eventually be put up for adoption.
No word on what charges the two detained will face.