Almost four years after an abandoned newborn girl was found alive in a plastic bag in a wooded area of northern Georgia, authorities have identified and arrested the newborn’s mother.
In 2019, a family called 911 saying they were hearing cries coming from the woods near their home.
When police investigated, they found the newborn baby tied in a plastic bag, with her umbilical cord still attached.
A video of the discovery was made public shortly after she was found, as officials appealed to the public for help locating the girl’s parents or finding out why she was abandoned. In the footage, deputies are seen removing the baby from the plastic bag and wrapping her in a blanket.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Karima Jiwani, 40, Thursday on charges of criminal attempt to commit murder, cruelty to children in the first degree, aggravated assault, and reckless abandonment.
The child survived and is said to be in good health.
Investigators first identified the father of the newborn, according to the sheriff’s office, there was no evidence the father was ever aware of Jiwani’s pregnancy or Baby India’s birth and abandonment.
Based on interviews with family and medical professionals, Jiwani reportedly had a “history of hidden and concealed pregnancies and surprise births,” and while pregnant with India “went to extremes to conceal this pregnancy,” Freeman said. Investigators have not found any prior criminal acts regarding Jiwani, he said.
India was likely born in a car, and Jiwani allegedly drove the newborn for a “significant period of time” before discarding her, Freeman said. There was no attempt to leave the newborn with a “safe haven” such as a fire station or hospital, which is legal within 30 days of the birth in the state, he noted.
“Four years ago, I said in this room, and I told you, we will bring this person to justice,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman told reporters Friday. “Little did I know it was going to take four years.”
People were “waiting in line” to adopt India following her miraculous recovery, Tom Rawlings, then-director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Service, told “Good Morning America” at the time.
Sheriff Ron H. Freeman did not share many details about the child’s current situation but said she was “happy, healthy, in a safe place.”
Credit: ABC News, People, CNN,