Sheriff’s office releases dramatic footage of deputies discovering abandoned newborn baby girl

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. My family and I will be on our vacation through August 27. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video is worth an entire library.

Yesterday the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office released body camera footage of June 6 when deputies discovered a full-term baby in a plastic bag abandoned in woods roughly 40 miles northeast of Atlanta.

“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.

The tenderness of the deputies as they cut the grocery bag open to save India is enough alone to make you cry. “I’m so sorry,” one deputy says. “I am so sorry…. Look how precious you are.”

They performed first aid until the baby could be taken to a nearby hospital.

The baby girl could not have been there that long, since the grocery bag was tied shut.

But that was only one of the miracles. A family living nearby had just returned from a trip, according to Asia Simone Burns, of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when the daughters heard the baby’s cries as they were unpacking.

“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.

They immediately called 911.

As of June 11 (and presumably still), India was in the custody of the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services. Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman stressed to reporters that Georgia has a Safe Haven law.

“Georgia Safe Haven Law allows a mother up to 30 days after the birth of an infant to drop that infant off at a hospital, a fire station, a police station, a sheriff’s station,” Freeman said. “As long as they turn it over to a person, a live human being, they cannot be charged with abandonment, cruelty to children. It is a way to make sure that a child like this is safely cared for.”

You can watch the dramatic rescue here.