Newborn Abandoned in Plastic Bag Found Alive Thanks to 3 'Persistent' Sisters

newborn found in a plastic bag
11 Alive

A newborn baby girl has been discovered in the woods of Forsyth County, Georgia, and police hope the public can help them find the girl's mother. Incredibly, the baby was found alive in a plastic shopping bag late Thursday night, but it was only by the insistence of three teenage girls that the newborn was uncovered.

  • The miracle newborn was discovered on an isolated stretch of road where there was only one home nearby -- and the family had been out of town.

    The family that lived in that home was on vacation, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and had only arrived back at 10 p.m. Thursday. After getting home, they were unpacking their bags from their trip when homeowner Alan Ragetz's daughters heard a strange noise outside.

    But the dad wasn't convinced. He explained to WSB-TV that he was skeptical, “I said, ‘That's got to be impossible. It's a baby raccoon, deer or something," he said. But his daughters were insistent that the noise was human.

    At first, the sisters went out without their father, “(We) grabbed our flashlights and we're driving around and we're, like, ‘That doesn't sound like an animal,’” daughter Kayla said.

    But they went back inside and convinced their father to grab his flashlight and join them in their search. “As we got closer, we realized it was a baby crying,” Kayla continued.

    Ragetz and his daughters found the newborn baby girl nearby in a pile of leaves in the woods. "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.” 

    The girl was allegedly only an hour old and still had her umbilical cord attached. "It was terrifying, scary," Kayla said. "Panic was going through all our minds. We were all crying."

    That is when the family called 911.

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  • Police arrived and started to perform first aid on the girl before she was rushed to the hospital.

    “When [police] arrived they found a near full-term infant female who was in a plastic bag in a wood line off the roadway,” Sheriff Ron Freeman told Fox 5

    Deputies started to perform first aid on the newborn until she could be taken to the hospital. The girl has not been identified, but hospital workers dubbed her India, instead of the standard alias Jane Doe. 

    Baby India is still at the hospital and as of Friday was in stable condition. “Surprisingly, the baby was in good condition,” Freeman told Fox 5. “The last report I had, the baby is stable.”

    A representative from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services has been acting as India's advocate. 

  • Authorities are still searching for little India's mother and are asking any person who has info on the abandoned girl to come forward.

    Investigators canvassed the area where India was found on Friday with the hope that they would uncover evidence to lead them to the girl's mother. They also said that although they believe India was left by her mother in the woods, they are open to other possibilities.

    “We want to make sure that we understand how this happened,” Freeman 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.”

    The sheriff said he would not speak on whether criminal charges will be filed until the investigation is complete. He also wanted to remind people that Georgia has a "safe haven" law for babies, which states that unwanted infants can be dropped off at medical facilities or 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 explained.

    And the sheriff praised Ragetz and his daughters for making the life-saving rescue. “It is without doubt a divine intervention that this child was found,” Freeman said. “Had it not been for those observant folks who are our citizens who called 911, we would be having a much different conversation today.”

    Police are asking the public to come forward with any information about India's mother and call the sheriff's office at (770) 781-3087.