Michigan mom who killed, dumped newborn twins in garbage can 17 years ago charged after genealogy aided probe

She chose a garbage can, took the babies out of a bag, put them in the can, put the bag back in her car, and went back to her grandpa's home where she threw away the bag, watched TV and went to bed


                            Michigan mom who killed, dumped newborn twins in garbage can 17 years ago charged after genealogy aided probe
Antoinette Briley (Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

OAK LAWN, ILLINOIS: For 17 years a Michigan woman remained elusive to the police and law authorities after killing her newborn twins. But it was about time that her crimes caught up with her. Cracking open a cold case, 41-year-old Antoinette Briley is now charged with murdering her kids in 2003. Their bodies were found by a waste management employee on June 6, 2003, in garbage bins in an alleyway in Stickney Township in Illinois.

Investigators managed to link her to the crime scene nearly two decades with the help of advanced genetic genealogy. She was apprehended at a traffic stop after authorities located her in Oak Lawn, Illinois. According to the sheriff's department, at a bond hearing on Saturday, Briley was appointed a public defender to represent her and her bail was set at $150,000. At the time, the autopsy for the babies had determined that they were born alive and died of asphyxiation. The police ruled their deaths homicides. Cook County sheriff's police say they conducted a thorough investigation but the case remained unsolved.

That is until 2018 when investigators reopened the case in 2018. They used the DNA recovered from the scene and the latest developments in genetic genealogy. It was lead detective Ginny Georgantas, who pushed for the case to be reopened, after the technology helped crack the Golden State Killer case. "I’m happy that there's closure for the twins, there was nobody fighting for them," she said.

According to reports, Cook County prosecutors said that when she was questioned, Briley said she was alone at her grandfather's house when she gave birth to the twins in the bathtub. Briley admitted that the twins were crying after they were born as she sat in the tub for a few minutes, panicking and thought about what she was going to do. She then told investigations that she decided to go to the hospital, got out of the tub, and cleaned herself off. All this as the babies were in the tub. She then proceeded to place them into a duffle bag, without wiping them off and started driving to the hospital.

The report reveals that prosecutors said on the way there, that she "decided that because nobody knew, nobody would ever know". "So she chose garbage can at random, took the babies out of the duffle bag, put them in the garbage can, put the bag back in her car, and went back to her grandfather's house, where she threw away the duffle bag, watched TV, and went to bed." Prosecutors now say that Briley regrets her actions - that she "wishes she could take the whole day back," and that she had just kept going to the hospital to make sure the babies were healthy.

The resolution of the cold case is a benchmark for the department. "The sheriff's detectives and sheriff's police officers worked hard on this case then, it was never gone, it never was passed us," said the sheriff's Chief of Public Safety. "The things that they did back then, helped us today." "Seventeen years ago we wouldn't have made this case this way," said Leo Schmitz, chief of public safety at the sheriff's department, at a press conference on Saturday. Upon arrest, Briley seemed "distraught", according to Sean Gleason, deputy chief of the Cook County Police Department's detective division.

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.