Authorities in Georgia have arrested the mother of “Baby India” nearly four years after the newborn was found stuffed inside a plastic bag and left for dead in the woods.
Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman became visibly emotional while announcing the arrest of Karima Jiwani during a press conference on Friday. Jiwani, 40, is facing charges including criminal intent to commit murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and reckless abandonment, among others.
On June 6, 2019, sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call from a family who said they were hearing cries coming from the woods near their home in Cumming, Ga. Officers found the newborn baby tied in a plastic bag, with her umbilical cord still attached.
Baby India’s birth likely took place inside a vehicle just hours earlier. Freeman said it appears Jiwani drove for a “significant period of time” after going into labor, and then decided to “throw [the baby] into the woods to die.”
“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.”
A video of the discovery was made public shortly after Baby India was found, with officials appealing to the public for help in the case. The bodycam footage shows Deputy Terry Roper coming upon a tied-up plastic bag tucked beneath some brush. He rips it open to find the crying newborn inside.
For years investigators worked to make an arrest, but they didn’t have a real breakthrough until just 10 months ago, when they identified Baby India’s father through familial DNA. From there, they were able to link Jiwani to the abandoned baby.
“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,” Freeman said
The infant’s father was not aware Jiwani was pregnant at the time and is not facing any charges.
Amid the investigation, authorities learned Jiwani has a history of “hidden and concealed pregnancies and surprise births,” Freeman said, adding that she had known about this particular pregnancy for a period of time and “went to extremes to conceal” it.
Jiwani was ordered to be held in the county jail without bond.