Police say mom put baby in trash can in 1994 and infant died of hypothermia; new DNA test led to mother’s arrest 25 years later

Published 4:53 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

Louisiana authorities say DNA testing has helped them identify and arrest the mother of a baby girl found dead in a trash can 25 years ago.

News outlets report 50-year-old Sonia Charles was booked Wednesday into the Iberia Parish Jail on a first-degree murder charge.

Authorities say “Baby Jane Doe” died of hypothermia on Jan. 24, 1994, in Jeanerette in south Louisiana.

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Iberia Parish sheriff’s spokesman Maj. Wendell Raborn says new leads prompted investigators to re-examine evidence and they determined the baby’s DNA matched that of a relative in a national database. He says DNA testing ultimately confirmed Charles was the baby’s mother.

It’s unclear whether Charles had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Officers and community members had held a funeral for the baby in 1994.