Woman's DNA tested in connection to 1996 homicide investigation

Woman's DNA tested in connection to baby's death in 1996

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia Beach police have made a major break in a nearly 21-year-old case.

In December of 1996, a baby was found dead in the locker room at the Lillian Vernon plant. Autopsy reports indicated the baby was alive at birth and died as a result of inattention and probably asphyxia, which detectives determined a homicide.

After narrowing down a list of thousands of employees from that time, investigators have been led to one woman in Texas. 13News Now is not naming the woman, because she has not been charged.

To this day, the mother of the baby hasn't been identified.

DNA testing determined the baby was 94 percent Southeast Asian, eliminating a massive number of women tested.

Last week, authorities with the Collin County Sheriff's Office in Texas spoke to the woman on the phone, assisting Virginia Beach police.

She confirmed she worked at Lillian Vernon, on the second shift, when the baby's body was found. She said she could smell the body, but ignored it for a week calling it an "accident."

She described what was found in the bag and it was confirmed by investigators.

When asked to provide a voluntary cheek swab to eliminate her as the mother, the woman said, "Oh no," because she didn't want media asking her questions and that she wanted peace.

Even after Texas law enforcement got a warrant, she refused multiple times. When investigators went to her home, she refused to open the door several times.

With a court order, police tracked her phone to Virginia Beach this week. Virginia Beach police tell 13News Now they have gotten a DNA sample from her.

Virginia Beach police said even with this DNA test processing, detectives are still working other leads in this case.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment