Mom Arrested in Newborn's Death, 14 Years Later

Another cold case helped along by DNA evidence in 2007 homicide in Pennsylvania
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2021 9:40 AM CDT

"Baby Mary Anne" would have been 14 this year, had she not been killed as a newborn and dumped in a trash bin at a Pennsylvania YMCA. Now, justice may be around the corner, thanks to DNA evidence that has helped along yet another cold case. reports that the infant's mother, 44-year-old Tara Brazzle (known in 2007 as Tara Indrakosit), was arrested Friday, after what Lancaster County DA Heather Adams said Wednesday was an "exhaustive" probe into the baby's death. The baby, who authorities say was born alive between 35 and 38 weeks of pregnancy, was found Sept. 24, 2007, in a dumpster at a Lancaster YMCA, swaddled in a blood-stained towel and multiple plastic bags, inside a canvas bag with the placenta and umbilical cord. The baby, who was found to have suffocated, was named Mary Anne by a woman who helped set up her burial, and hundreds of people showed up at her November 2007 funeral service, per the Washington Post.

After interviewing at least two dozen women in hopes of finding the mother, the homicide case went cold. That is, until Sgt. Randell Zook took over the probe in 2016, submitted DNA from the crime scene to a lab, and put together a "reverse family tree." Evidence eventually pointed to Brazzle, and cops interviewed her Thursday at her current home in Valparaiso, Ind. They say she admitted knowing she was pregnant, not seeking prenatal care, and dumping the baby after the birth. Officials didn't arrest Brazzle on Thursday, as they continued to look into who else may have been involved, but they took her into custody Friday after they found out she'd flown to California. WGAL notes she's set to be extradited to Pennsylvania. Investigators say they've also interviewed the baby's apparent father, though it's not clear what, if anything, he knew. Brazzle has been charged with one count of criminal homicide and is in the custody of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office without bail. (More cold cases stories.)

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