The mother, who had callously left a newborn child to die in the woods by placing them in a yellow shopping bag and treating them as disposable trash, has finally been apprehended by the police almost four years later. She is currently in custody, facing numerous criminal charges, including attempted murder.
During the year 2019, a baby named India was discovered in distressing circumstances. She had been abandoned in a bag, her umbilical cord still attached, covered in placenta and blood. Fortunately, a compassionate family residing near the bushes next to their house heard the cries of the baby and came to her rescue.
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On a scorching June day in Cummings, Georgia, Alan Ragatz and his four children arrived home at 8:30 p.m. As Alan was getting ready for bed, his three teenage daughters informed him about a peculiar cry emanating from the woods surrounding their house. Concerned, Alan decided to secure the doors and switch on the air conditioning to cool down.
Alan’s daughter insisted, “Dad, we can hear a baby.” Intrigued by the unusual sounds and unwilling to believe it was an animal, the daughters grabbed a few flashlights and ventured towards the source of the cries. Shortly after, they returned, urging their father to follow them.
According to Alan, he recalled, “Initially, we could hear the sound, but it was muffled. As we walked further, it became clearer.”
Soon after, the family made a heart-wrenching discovery.
“We came across what appeared to be a bundled-up bathmat. As we approached and unraveled it, we found a little baby inside, placed in what seemed to be a tied Publix bag,” Ragatz described. The baby, drenched in blood, had been abandoned on a pile of leaves and twigs. “She still had her umbilical cord attached, along with some of the placenta.”
When one of the daughters, Kayla, shared the news, describing it as “terrifying” and “scary,” Alan and his other children were overcome with fear and tears.
After discovering the baby, Ragatz expressed that his daughters were in a state of shock, and the situation was emotionally overwhelming for everyone involved. He referred to the baby as a resilient “fighter” and emphasized that they did not pass judgment on whoever committed this act. Ragatz acknowledged the societal challenges but believed that there were better alternatives to handle such situations.
Upon receiving a 911 call, Forsyth County officials promptly arrived at the scene and found the infant, who was miraculously still alive.
According to Sheriff Ron Freeman, the newborn girl, referred to as India, was born at full term and it is believed that she was born a day prior to being discovered.
Disturbing bodycam footage was released by the police, depicting the moment the bag was torn open and revealing the tiny infant, who was crying while holding onto the finger of one of the officers. Immediately after, authorities initiated their search to locate the person responsible for abandoning the newborn.
At that time, the police had no knowledge about India’s mother or her background, leaving them with no leads. The video was shared with the intention of providing some clarity and generating credible information about Baby India’s identity, as well as emphasizing the significance of finding closure in this case.
Subsequently, Forsyth County disclosed that Baby India was “flourishing and under the care of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services,” resulting in a global outpouring of interest from numerous individuals wishing to adopt the baby.
Sheriff Freeman expressed astonishment at the vast number of people eager to welcome a new life into their families, contrasting it with the disheartening act of someone attempting to discard a precious life.
In May 2023, the authorities apprehended Karima Jawani, a 40-year-old woman from Atlanta, after her persistent efforts to uncover information about Baby India’s identity.
During a press conference, Freeman addressed the media, stating, “Four years ago, in this very room, I promised you that we would bring the person responsible for this to justice.”
He expressed his surprise at the length of time it took to achieve this outcome. Freeman explained that a significant breakthrough occurred when “advanced DNA techniques” aided in identifying Baby India’s biological father.
Following this development, detectives had the task of determining the individual who had abandoned the infant in the woods. According to the statement, evidence revealed that the baby had been born in a car and subsequently driven for a “considerable duration” by the suspect, Jiwani. Shockingly, Jiwani made no effort to leave the child in a location where she could be found, as indicated by the evidence.
According to Freeman, family and friends have asserted that Jiwani has a history of pregnancies kept secret and surprise deliveries. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the father was aware of the pregnancy or the subsequent abandonment of the baby.
Freeman expressed his disbelief and sorrow, stating, “This child was tightly wrapped in a plastic bag and callously thrown into the woods, treated like a disposable object. I find it incomprehensible. It is truly one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever witnessed.”
Jiwani is currently held in custody without the option of bail and faces charges of aggravated assault, first-degree child cruelty, attempted murder, and reckless abandonment. Freeman emphasized that parents who find themselves unable or unwilling to care for a newborn have legal alternatives at their disposal.
Under the Safe-Haven statute, commonly referred to as the Baby Moses law in certain jurisdictions, a mother has the option to leave her newborn baby, who is less than 30 days old, in a hospital, fire station, or police station without facing legal consequences. This allows for an anonymous surrender of the baby.
According to the National Safe Haven Alliance, in 2021, the organization successfully rescued 33 illegally abandoned newborns, but unfortunately, 22 of those infants were discovered deceased.
Sheriff Freeman stated that when a biological parent fails to fulfill their responsibilities, Forsyth County stepped in and surrounded Baby India with love, care, and prayers, providing her with the support she deserved. He added that Baby India is currently in a safe place, happy, and enjoying good health.
The Ragatz family, who played a crucial role in saving Baby India’s life, deserve praise and recognition for their efforts in locating her. It is heartening to see that Karima Jiwani is facing charges for her actions, as it is truly repugnant for a mother to discard her vulnerable child in such a manner.
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