Four years after a baby girl was found tied inside a plastic bag in the woods of Georgia, police announced the arrest of her biological mother.
On May 19, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said DNA evidence finally led them to arrest Karima Jiwani, 40, of Forsyth County, after pouring thousands of hours into the investigation, The New York Post reports. She is charged with attempted murder, cruelty to children, aggravated assault and reckless abandonment.
“How a parent — and I happen to be one, too — can do such a callous thing is both incomprehensible to all of us and it’s infuriating,” Freeman said.
The baby girl survives. Freeman said she is almost 4 years old and living “happy, healthy and in a safe place.”
On June 6, 2019, local authorities received a 911 call from a man who said he and his children heard a baby crying in the woods near their home in Cummings, Georgia, according to the sheriff’s department.
The officer who responded, Sheriff Deputy Terry Roper, said he found the baby girl inside a tied plastic grocery bag in the brush; she was alive, and her umbilical cord was still attached. Roper said they quickly transported her to a local hospital where she received care.
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When she grew healthy enough, the baby girl likely was placed in foster care and then adopted into a loving home. Authorities do not give out information about a child’s whereabouts in such situations to protect the child and their adopted family.
Freeman said they spent four years and hundreds of hours searching for the biological mother, and, last week, DNA evidence linked them to Jiwani, who also has several older children. He said Jiwani has a history of concealing her pregnancies, and the baby’s biological father, who they found about 10 months ago, did not know about the pregnancy or his daughter’s existence.
Authorities said they believe Jiwani delivered the baby girl in her car and then drove around before placing the girl in the bag, tying it and abandoning her in the woods.
Infanticide and infant abandonment are problems across the world.
In January, authorities in New Mexico investigated another case involving a young mother who went to the hospital, allegedly locked herself in a hospital bathroom, gave birth and then threw her newborn son in a trash can. The baby died.
A third case in Iowa in February led to the arrest of two individuals on first-degree murder charges after police said they admitted to throwing a newborn baby boy in a trash bag and leaving him in a ditch.
Like abortion, infanticide destroys the life of a unique and valuable child who is fully dependent on his/her parents to survive. The pro-life movement works to protect newborns from infanticide as well as abortion by supporting safe haven laws, adoption and resources to help pregnant and parenting families.
In America, all 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Several states also have baby boxes installed in fire stations where women can safely surrender newborns. Typically, laws allow safe surrender within a certain time limit, such as up to 30 days after the baby’s birth.
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