Police: New DNA tests link woman to 1986 baby killing

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut police charged a Florida woman with murder Friday in connection with the 1986 killing of a baby who was found dead in a garbage truck, after new DNA testing linked her to the crime scene, authorities said.

Janita Philips, 62, of Lake Mary, Florida, turned herself in to Greenwich police and was detained on $50,000 bail pending a court hearing Friday, police said. Police said Philips was the mother of the child. It was not immediately clear if she had a lawyer who could respond to the allegations.

“We are grateful that justice is finally being obtained for this infant child of our community,” Deputy Police Chief Robert Berry said in a statement. “The investigation of his tragic death has taken many long years, but he has always been remembered and we hope this conclusion will bring him peace and recognition.”

The infant boy was found dead in a garbage truck that had emptied a dumpster at an apartment complex in Greenwich on May 16, 1986. The chief medical examiner’s office determined the baby was strangled and ruled his death a homicide. The boy was born alive and killed soon after birth, officials said.

Police said they found items soaked with blood and other evidence at the crime scene, and they interviewed residents of the apartment building. But nothing positively identified the killer.

Greenwich police said they used newly available DNA testing last year that linked evidence found at the crime scene to the boy’s mother. Detectives investigated further and determined Philips was his mother, which was confirmed through additional DNA testing, police said.

Philips lived at the Greenwich apartment building at the time of the killing, authorities said.

In September, Greenwich detectives went to Florida and interviewed Philips with help from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Philips admitted during the interview and in a written statement that she was the child’s mother and caused his death, police said. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for her Wednesday.

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