Genealogy leads to suspect in 1997 baby death in UP

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WJMN) — A woman has been arrested for murder in the death of a baby found in a vault toilet at an Upper Peninsula campground in 1997, the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office says.

Authorities say the woman was arrested in the state of Wyoming Tuesday and is awaiting extradition back to Michigan, where she will be charged with open murder.

Investigators say the 58-year-old woman told them she was the mother of the child and made additional statements that led them to arrest her.

The investigation began in 1997, when the Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police found the remains of a baby in a vault toilet at the Garnet Lake Campground in Hudson Township, between St. Ignace and Newberry. They called the child Baby Garnet, but the baby was never identified and the case went cold.

In the summer of 2017, investigators went back to the case. They ultimately turned to forensic genealogy — searching public DNA databases — to find relatives of Baby Garnet. They said a genealogist provided them with the mother’s name.

It’s not yet known when the woman will be extradited back to Michigan. Her name was not released pending arrangement.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *