The Gist: In a development that has brought renewed attention to a case that stirred the heart of Forsyth County, an arrest has been made in connection with Baby India, a newborn discovered abandoned in a plastic bag nearly four years ago.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the child’s mother, Karima Jiwani, has been arrested and now faces serious charges including criminal attempt to commit murder, first degree cruelty to children, aggravated assault, and reckless abandonment.
What Happened: Late one night in June 2019, Baby India’s faint cries were mistaken for a cat’s in the woods near Daves Creek Road. A local family, drawn by the sounds, made the shocking discovery of the baby, barely hours old and still with her umbilical cord attached, tucked inside a plastic bag.
An immediate call to 911 saw deputies rushing to the scene and the infant receiving prompt medical aid. The child was whisked off to a nearby hospital where she was affectionately named India by the hospital staff.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has been diligently working on the case since then, with a breakthrough coming about 10 months ago when advanced DNA investigative practices led to the identification of the child’s father. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that he was aware of the pregnancy or the subsequent abandonment of the child.
A Bizarre History: The identification of Baby India’s mother, Jiwani, was further confirmed through DNA evidence. According to the sheriff’s office, interviews with family and medical professionals reveal a history of hidden and concealed pregnancies and surprise births, showing that Jiwani went to extremes to conceal this pregnancy.
This case shines a light on Georgia’s safe harbor laws which allow a mother to drop off a newborn within 30 days at a safe location like a hospital or fire station.
What’s Next: Jiwani is currently being held without bond and is scheduled to make her first court appearance remotely from the Forsyth County Jail. As she faces a serious list of charges, the case is set to be presented to a grand jury.
The sheriff’s office has requested that the state’s Division of Family and Children Services evaluate the situation and put a safety plan in place, as there were additional children, ranging from school age to near adult, in Jiwani’s home at the time of her arrest.
What Happened to Baby India?: Despite the disturbing circumstances of her discovery, Baby India has flourished. Now four years old, she is described as being “happy and healthy,” and is in a safe place. Her story has resonated with many, as people were “waiting in line” to adopt India following her miraculous recovery.