Human Interest

Mother arrested four years after newborn found alive in plastic bag

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On June 6, 2019, a newborn was rescued from a plastic grocery bag on the side of a road in rural Georgia after people living nearby heard her crying. Now, four years later, the woman who abandoned the baby has been arrested.

Body cam video from the day she was found shows the man whose children heard the baby crying helping the rescuing officer to save the baby, who still had her umbilical cord attached. She was inside a tied yellow plastic bag, which the officer ripped open. The heartbreaking video was released in hopes of gathering any information on the child and the child’s mother.

On Friday, an emotional Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman held a press conference to announce that 40-year-old Karima Jiwani had been arrested on charges of attempted murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault, and reckless abandonment. She was identified through DNA.

The baby girl was taken to a local hospital where nurses dubbed her “Baby India.” Hundreds of people expressed interest in adopting her and deputies spent thousands of hours attempting to find the mother. Freeman explained that in his 33 years of experience, he has never wanted to make an arrest more than he did in this case.

“This child was tied up in a plastic bag and thrown into the woods like a bag of trash,” the sheriff said.

“It’s literally one of the saddest things I have ever seen.”

Freeman explained that 10 months ago, a major break came in the case when detectives found the baby’s biological father through DNA. He had not known about the baby, but detectives were then led to Jiwani. She has other children, knew she was pregnant with “Baby India,” and has a history of concealed pregnancies and so-called “surprise” births.

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Jiwani allegedly delivered “Baby India” in a car and drove for a while before abandoning her, making no effort to leave her in a Safe Haven location. Every state has a version of a Safe Haven law and in Georgia, parents can anonymously leave their baby 30 days old or younger at a police or fire station or at a medical facility without facing criminal charges.

“How a parent — and I happen to be one, too — can do such a callous thing is both incomprehensible to all of us and it’s infuriating,” said Freeman.

“Baby India,” he said is “happy, healthy, and in a safe place.” She will be turning four in a few weeks. Jiwani is being held in the county jail without bond.

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