Woman Arrested Nearly Two Decades After a Baby’s Body Was Found at Phoenix Airport

This Monday, authorities in Washington state reported the arrest of a woman for murder in connection with the almost years ago cold case of her newborn baby’s death at an airport in Arizona.

On October 10, 2005, the baby’s body was found in the garbage in a woman’s restroom at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. It was wrapped in a plastic bag bearing the red Marriott hotel emblem.

The infant, who was only a day old when she passed away, was found to have been abandoned in the airport restroom rather than having been born there.

Police said that a medical examiner later declared the baby’s death to be a homicide by suffocation.

The public began to refer to the baby as “Baby Skylar.” No suspects were identified in spite of extensive media coverage, and murder police reported that the case “went cold after all leads were exhausted.”

Woman Arrested Nearly Two Decades After a Baby's Body Was Found at Phoenix Airport

However, a few years ago, cutting-edge forensic testing on the infant’s body assisted law officials in locating a possible maternal match.

This led them to Annie Anderson, 51, the suspect who is being charged in the infant’s killing.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Lt. James Hester of the Phoenix Police Department said that she was in the city in October 2005 for a “real estate boot camp.”

Anderson acknowledged being Baby Skylar’s mother in a January 2022 interview with investigators, according to a news release from the Phoenix Police Department that CBS News was able to receive on Monday.

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Around that time, investigators had flown to Washington state to carry out a search warrant for Anderson following forensic examinations conducted several months prior.

FBI agents These tests were scheduled for November 2021 by Phoenix Police cold case detectives in collaboration with the Phoenix Violent Crime Task Force.

The investigators employed genetic genealogy to identify DNA samples that could lead to the baby’s mother in addition to going over the case’s existing evidence, which included DNA samples taken from the airport restroom that were found to be hers.

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They were able to identify Anderson as a suspect when they were able to cross-reference a possible match with evidence that was first found at the crime site.

During the briefing on Tuesday, Special Agent Dan Horan—who oversees the FBI Phoenix Violent Crime Task Force—described genealogy testing as an “identity resolution technique” that connects familial connections to an unidentified profile by using a publicly accessible genealogical database.

The genealogical testing in Baby Skylar’s case found “someone in the family tree,” who then permitted their DNA sample to be used once only to advance the investigation and ultimately lead to Anderson’s identification.

Horan refused to provide any information on the relative.

After considering a first-degree murder charge, a Maricopa County grand jury finally issued an arrest warrant for Anderson, who is currently being held in Washington state, according to the police.

Anderson is awaiting extradition back to Arizona and is being detained in Washington. When she gets back to Phoenix, authorities say she will probably be charged with several felonies.

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