"Baby Jan," as she was named by nurses at Northside Hospital, was discovered in the Prado shopping center parking lot hours after she was born. This photo was taken while she was still in foster care.

Abandoned at birth, ‘Baby Jan’ hopes to meet her rescuers

Someone rescued Amanda Jones hours after she was born, 36 years ago. She wants to thank them.

Someone wrapped a newborn in a blanket and left her in a commercial parking lot.

Someone found her and called for help.

Nurses at Northside Hospital named the baby Jan Winter and she was placed in foster care, then adopted after a few months. 

“Baby Jan” is now Amanda Jones, and she’s hoping to find her rescuers, 36 years later.

“Imagine if you were to walk into a library to get a book that you really wanted to read and the last chapter was missing,” she said. “That's what my life has been like.”

Amanda Jones and her husband have three children, ages 9, 3 and 10 months.

Jones grew up in Palmetto and now lives in south Georgia. Her parents (she never thinks of them as “adoptive parents”) told her about her beginnings as soon as she was old enough to understand. They didn’t have many details, though, and the adoption records are sealed.

Coverage in The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, separate newspapers at the time of the rescue, provided some facts. Sandra Milholin, then the adoption supervisor at the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services, handled the adoption, for example. The office was deluged with calls from people wanting to take Baby Jan in.

Joyce Vaughan, then the Fulton County Police Department’s only female detective, worked the case. But who dialed 911?

“I want to thank the people who found me, from the bottom of my hearts and my parents’ hearts,” Jones said. “Whoever found me could have turned their back and said, ‘I’m not getting involved.’ They didn’t and as a result they changed so many lives.”

MORE: Georgia’s Safe Haven law

Amanda Jones, shown at about age 6, grew up in Palmetto and now lives in south Georgia.

She’d been unable to locate a police report until this week, when Fulton County Police Lt. Scott McBride was able to unearth the file, on microfilm. Only a few words on the old handwritten narrative are legible.  The phrase “Braves blanket” is among them. McBride has reached out to Vaughan and another retired colleague who worked the case in hopes of connecting them with Jones.

Through DNA testing in recent years, Jones has been able to connect with some relatives, including a cousin whose red hair is the same hue as her son’s.

After seeing recent coverage of “Baby India,” the infant discovered abandoned in Forsyth County, Jones decided to take a new investigative approach. She posted a query on Facebook in hopes of reaching someone with answers.

Amanda Jones is hoping to connect with whoever rescued her.

“I feel like I owe it to the universe,” she said. She and her husband have three children, ages 9, 3 and 10 months. She’s interested to know if she has siblings of her own, but isn’t necessarily hoping to locate her birth parents.

“My only intention is to reunite with the person or people that found me,” she said. “I can imagine whoever left me must be pretty mortified, but it was 36 years ago.”

She’s never let the grim circumstances of her very young life define her.

“I’ve always been a positive person. I’ve never let this get me down,” she said. “It’s a reminder every day that I am truly blessed and was given a second opportunity.”

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