The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released body camera footage from the night a baby was found abandoned in the woods tied in a plastic shopping bag. The graphic video shows the girl, who authorities named India, being cut out of the plastic bag. The umbilical cord is attached.
“We release this footage in hopes to receive credible information on the identity of Baby India and to show how important it is to find closure in this case,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.
India was found June 6 on an isolated stretch of Daves Creek Road in the southern part of Forsyth County, according to Sheriff Ron Freeman.
Her cries attracted the attention of a family in a nearby home, AJC.com previously reported.
The family had been away on a trip and returned just before 10 p.m. As they were unpacking their bags, a child heard the baby’s cries, Freeman said. The family called 911.
Deputies performed first aid until India could be taken to an area hospital.
Homeowner Alan Ragetz told Channel 2 Action News he might never have gone into the woods to investigate if it wasn’t for his daughters’ persistence. He thought it was a wild animal wailing in the woods, but he went along when the girls grabbed their flashlights.
The sound was coming from a pile of leaves.
“We went down, pulled it up, there was a poor little baby wrapped in a plastic bag,” he said. “She was alive, she was crying, so we figured that was a good sign.”
Ragetz said the baby could not have been more than a few hours old. Freeman told Channel 2 the baby now weighs almost seven pounds.
“Somebody knows what happened to this child,” he said. “This is a near full-term or full-term baby.”
Freeman said they can only assume a mother placed the child there, but they are still considering other possibilities.
“We want to make sure that we understand how this happened,” he said. “We want to make sure that we deal with both the criminal investigation, as well as making sure that both the baby and the family that are related are taken care of from the standpoint that they need to be.”
He said he would not speculate on criminal charges until the investigation was complete.
Freeman noted that Georgia has a “safe haven” law for babies like India, which allows unwanted babies to be dropped off at medical facilities or with public safety agencies without fear of prosecution.
“Georgia (law) provides you've got 30 days to do that, not to leave a baby in the woods,” he said.
Freeman said India is “thriving” and is in the care of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.
The sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help. Anyone who knows a woman in the late stages of pregnancy who could have recently given birth is asked to contact investigators at 770-781-3087.
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