The woman who tied up her newborn infant in a plastic bag and threw her into the woods to die back 2019 in Forsyth County, Georgia, has been identified and arrested, the sheriff’s office said in a press conference Friday.
Karima Jiwani, 40, has been charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, reckless abandonment, and cruelty to children in the first degree.
On the night of June 6, 2019, two teenagers got worried when they heard what they thought sounded like a baby crying in the woods near their home. Eventually they notified their father, who originally thought the sound was an animal, and the family started searching their property and the words nearby. Minutes later, they found a newborn baby, bloodied with her umbilical cord still attached, wrapped in a plastic bag.
“This child was tied up in a plastic bag and thrown into the woods like a bag of trash,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a press conference. “I can’t understand that.”
Without any identification, the baby was given the name “India” and was rushed to a local hospital. Baby India is now almost four years old, and is prospering, happy, and healthy, according to the sheriff.
Throughout the press conference, Sheriff Freeman only referred to Jiwani as India’s “biological parent” as he said he has trouble with saying the suspect is actually her mother.
“How a parent, and I happen to be one too, can do such a callous thing, is both incomprehensible to all of us, and is infuriating,” Sheriff Freeman said emotionally. “I’m dumbfounded by any reasoning that could be there, and how somebody could have the ability to leave their own child to die.”
The sheriff’s office worked with Othram Labs to identify India’s birth parents so detectives could ultimately investigate the case and make an arrest. Othram Labs “uniquely offers in-house processing of evidence, from DNA extraction, enrichment, and repair, to sequencing and genealogy.”
Forsyth County deputies said they were able to identify India’s father 10 months ago and have since been working intensive surveillance and background data collection to identify and link Jiwani to the crime.
The sheriff confirmed there is “zero evidence” that Baby India’s biological father had any idea about the pregnancy or abandonment of the little girl. Evidence from the crime scene also shows only one person was most likely there, investigators said.
Jiwani has a history of “hidden and concealed pregnancies,” detectives explained, stating after interviews with family and friends, she knew about India’s pregnancy and went to extremes to conceal it. The sheriff went on to say Jiwani had several “surprise births.”
At the time of her arrest, Jiwani was living with her own “additional children.” The sheriff said they are between “school aged to near adult.” The department of children and families has been notified about their care and this case, as Jiwani is now being held in jail without bond.
“No motive can justify this decision,” Sheriff Freeman said. “It it literally one of the saddest things I have ever seen.”
The deputy who rescued India was one of the officers who arrested Jiwani. Officers used the sheriff’s handcuffs for the arrest.
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