Karima Jiwani, whose newborn baby was found abandoned but alive in a plastic bag in 2019, was charged with attempted murder in Georgia on Thursday.
At a news conference Friday, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman explained how the woman was arrested four years after her daughter, dubbed “Baby India,” was arrested. rescued from the woods in a case that made national headlines.
India’s umbilical cord was reportedly still trapped on the night of June when she was rescued by authorities, who responded to a call from a family who said they heard crying.
“This child was tied in a plastic bag and thrown into the woods like a garbage bag,” Freeman said said during the press conference. “It’s literally one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.”
The local sheriff’s office had released harrowing CCTV footage of the moment she was rescued, but India’s identity remained unknown for years. However, researchers made a breakthrough about 10 months ago when they found her father through DNA testing.
Jiwani, 40, has now been identified as the girl’s birth mother. Authorities have no reason to believe India’s father knew about the pregnancy or plans to abandon her, Freeman said. Jiwani has been held without bail in a local jail and her first trial in court was scheduled for Saturday.
In addition to attempted murder, Jiwani faces additional charges: first-degree cruelty to children, aggravated assault and reckless abandonment.
“Four years ago I said in this room, and I told you, we will bring this person to justice,” Freeman said. “I didn’t know it would take four years.”
Citing conversations with family and medical staff, Freeman claimed that Jiwani had a “history of concealed and concealed pregnancies and surprise births”, adding that she “went to great lengths to hide this pregnancy” with India.
Freeman did not suggest any possible motive at the press conference, but he said India was probably born in a car and drove around for a “considerable time” before being put in the woods.
This is reported by the National Safe Haven Alliance, which promotes legislation immunity to parents who anonymously hand over their unharmed children to designated providers within specified time frames, 31 babies were disposed of in dumpsters and other hazardous locations by 2021.
Watch footage from the 2019 rescue of India. (This video contains graphic scenes and may be disturbing to some readers.)
During the press conference, Freeman added that the sheriff’s office found other children at Jiwani’s residence at the time of her arrest, and has contacted the state’s Division of Family and Children’s Services for further action.
While he did not go into detail about India’s current status, Freeman assured reporters that she is now “prosperous.”