FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The first Forsyth County deputy who found a day-old baby in a plastic grocery bag speaks publicly for the first time about that night in hopes of finally finding her mother.
The dramatic body camera video of that moment was released Tuesday by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and has since been seen by millions.
"I could tell she just needed love from that point forward," said Deputy Terry Roper, spoke with FOX 5’s Jaclyn Schultz Wednesday about that night.
June 6, shortly after 10 p.m., the infant was discovered off Daves Creek Road in southeastern Forsyth County after neighbors heard the young child crying.
Deputy Roper can first be seen on the video speaking with the residents, then opens the tied bag to reveal the infant. He first checked to see if she was injured, then the video shows Roper saying "I'm so sorry" repeatedly to the baby.
"At first, I think it was because I opened the bag up in the baby's face. But then-- I was just apologizing for the situation. I was sorry she had been dumped and abandoned," Roper said.
The father of two immediately knew he needed to keep the baby warm, and went to retrieve a pair of pants from a fellow deputy's vehicle; he held the baby until paramedics arrived.
Emergency personnel rushed the child to the hospital. She weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces, and was named "India" by the nurses; it's one of a list of names given to abandoned babies.
Roper went back to the hospital the following night to visit her and hold her.
India is “thriving” and is in the care of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.
"I know Terry. I know his family. I know his wife. I know his kids. He's a great deputy and he's probably a better man," said Sheriff Freeman. "What you saw was a daddy come out and that's what I expect of him."
Deputies hope that more leads will come in, after the release of the video; investigators have received 150 tips so far. 1,000 people have called to try to adopt baby India.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office's tip line at 770-888-7308. Your call can be anonymous.