Seventeen years ago, a Waste Management employee was emptying trash bins in Cook County’s Stickney Township when she found a pair of newborn twins. The infants were dead, and their umbilical cords were still attached, according to Chicago Tribune reporting at the time.
During the course of their investigation back then, police spoke with neighbors and pregnant women in the area, but never managed to solve the case.
On Saturday, however, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced a breakthrough: They’d charged the infants’ mother, Antoinette Briley, with two counts of first-degree murder.
Back in 2003, authorities ruled the newborn boys’ deaths a homicide after an autopsy revealed that they were born alive and died of asphyxiation. The case sat cold for more than a decade, until police reopened it in 2018.
As they began their investigation anew, detectives used what a press release provided to The Daily Beast describes as “the latest developments in genetic genealogy” to try and identify the twins’ birth mother.
Cook County Sheriff’s Office detectives subsequently travelled to Briley’s home state, where they obtained a discarded item that contained her DNA. It matched the victims’ DNA.
Finally, on Thursday, police received a tip that Briley would be in Cook County. They arrested her after a traffic stop in Oak Lawn on Friday, with a bond hearing set for Saturday afternoon.