Surveillance footage from a doorbell security camera captured the heartbreaking moment a toddler was left abandoned outside a stranger's home in the middle of the night in a suburb of Houston, Texas.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office released the 23-second video Thursday morning, just hours before authorities were able to identify the 2-year-old boy and the adult who left him behind.
"I was gut-wrenched," Lt. Scott Spencer said of his reaction to the video. "It was very alarming and very disturbing and my heart was hurting for that child."
The footage shows a woman carrying two bags and holding a toddler in the air by his arm as she runs toward the front door of a home in Spring, Texas, some 25 miles north of Houston, on Wednesday night around 8:20 p.m. local time. When she reaches the front entrance, the woman puts the child down, repeatedly rings the doorbell and knocks several times. She then drops the bags she was carrying, runs back to her parked white vehicle and drives away, leaving the little boy behind.
According to the sheriff's office, authorities received a 911 call from someone who said she went to answer a knock at her door and found a child standing there alone.
The little boy was not injured and "appears to be in good health," the sheriff's office said.
Child Protective Services has since taken custody of the toddler and placed him in a foster home amid the ongoing investigation.