Georgia police have released body-cam footage of the moment they discovered a newborn girl who had been abandoned in the woods inside a plastic bag. Authorities hope it may lead to the identification of her and her mother.
The baby, who has been temporarily named India, was found in Cumming, Georgia, on June 6, and detectives from the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office have been trying to locate her mother ever since.
Officers released the footage, which shows the rescue of the infant, hoping someone will be able to identify the baby or provide credible tips.
“The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to aggressively investigate and to follow leads regarding Baby India,” it announced on Facebook on June 25. “As of today, we are still receiving tips from across the country on the possible identity of Baby India.”
“We are releasing parts of the footage from the body camera worn by the first FCSO Deputy on scene the night Baby India was discovered, Thursday June 6th, 2019,” the sheriff’s office added.
“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.”
Baby India was rescued at around 10 p.m. after a family heard the sound of crying in a wooded area by Daves Creek Road in Forsyth County, authorities said.
A father who lives in the area called 911 to report the noise and told responding officers he wasn’t sure what it was at first, reported Fox News.
“My kids said, ‘That’s a baby,’ and I said, ‘That’s an animal,” he said.
Cumming resident Alan Ragatz told NBC-affiliate WXIA that he and his teenage daughters were about to go to bed when they heard baby India crying, which they couldn’t ignore.
“It sounded human, we just knew something was different about this,” he said.
“We found what looked like a bath mat that was all wrapped up, and by the time we got to it and opened the bath mat, it was a little baby, in what looked like a Publix bag, tied,” Ragatz said. “She still had her umbilical cord and part of the placenta.”
“My girls were in shock, it was an emotional deal, and everybody was upset,” he added.
“She was alive. She was crying, so we figured that was a good sign,” Ragatz told WSBTV’s Channel 2. “Could have been worse. The credit goes to my girls. They were the ones sticking with it.”
The body-cam footage shows the officer as he gently tears open the plastic bag, saying, “I’m so so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Look how precious you are,” an officer says, revealing the crying infant with its umbilical cord still attached.
The newborn’s rescuer quickly wraps her in a jacket and baby India wraps her left hand around a responder’s finger.
According to WSBTV Channel 2, deputies from the FCSO performed first aid on baby India and she was then brought to hospital in a stable condition.
The sheriff’s office thanked the Ragatz family for finding the baby, and later said on Facebook, “We are happy to report that Baby India is thriving and is in the care of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.”
“It is, without doubt, divine intervention that this child was found. If it wasn’t for these citizens, we would be having a different conversation,” Sheriff Ron Freeman said, reported WSBTV 2.
Freeman told the outlet the child was either a “Caucasian or Hispanic female.”
The sheriff’s office said on Facebook on June 11 that the Division of Family and Children Services would take care of baby India to find her a foster home when she is well enough to leave hospital.
The FSCO urges anyone with any information regarding baby India’s case to contact their tip line at 770-888-7308.