FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A man says it was an "act of God" that he found an abandoned newborn wrapped in a plastic bag.
Channel 2's Tom Regan was the only reporter to speak with Alan Ragatz and his teenage daughters, who found the little girl in the wooded area near their Forsyth County home Thursday night.
The three sisters believe a higher power put them in the right place at the right time. They said they initially heard a strange cry from the woods.
“(We) grabbed our flashlights and we're driving around and we're, like, ‘That doesn't sound like an animal,’” Kayla Ragatz said.
They went back inside their home and told their father they thought they heard a crying baby. Alan Ragatz was skeptical.
“I said, ‘That's got to be impossible. It's a baby raccoon, deer or something,’" he said.
They all went back into the dark woods and traced the sound to a pile of leaves and sticks and a bath mat.
“As we got closer, we realized it was a baby crying,” Kayla Ragatz said.
“We went down, pulled it up. There was a poor little baby wrapped in a plastic bag, and we called 911,” Alan Ragatz said. “She was alive. She was crying, so we figured that was a good sign. Could have been worse. The credit goes to my girls. They were the ones sticking with it.”
The newborn, perhaps an hour old, had her umbilical cord still attached.
"It was terrifying, scary," Kayla Ragatz said. "Panic was going through all our minds. We were all crying."
The Forysth County Sheriff's Office said deputies performed first aid on the infant and rushed her to the hospital. She was listed as stable.
The sheriff thanked the family for rescuing the newborn.
"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.
Sheriff’s Office investigators are now asking for the public’s help in finding the infant’s mother.
"It was a Caucasian or Hispanic female," Freeman said.
If anyone knows a woman who was in the late stages of pregnancy and may have given birth to this infant, please contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office at 770-781-3087.