Christine Marie Warren Seattle woman arrested 23 years after dumping newborn baby in trash. DNA evidence used to identify woman in long standing unsolved case.
Christine Marie Warren, now in her fifties was booked into the King County Jail Thursday on suspicion of homicide, KIRO7 reported.
Investigators used information from a public genealogy website to link the now-50-year-old woman to the possible 1997 killing of her newborn son, Seattle Police said.
Nicknamed ‘Baby Boy Doe’ by local press at the time, the child was discovered on Nov. 20, 1997 in the bathroom trash can of a 24-hour convenience store in Lake City, the Seattle Times reported.
The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he had been born alive two days earlier and ruled his death a homicide.
Re-investigating cold case in 2018
The boy’s body may never have been found were it not for the trash can liner. It was clear plastic, so the employee emptying the garbage immediately saw the body, according to detectives.
A surveillance photo showing what officers believed was the baby’s mom inside the gas station yielded hundreds of tips during the initial investigation, but cops were ‘unable to identify the woman’ in the images.
DNA evidence found at the scene was entered into the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab’s database, but no match was found.
Detectives began re-investigating the cold case in 2018, and enlisted the help of so-called ‘DNA sleuth’ Barbara Rae-Venter — who solved the Golden State Killer mystery — to narrow the search down to Warren, according to KIRO7.
Plot hatched to link suspected woman
Warren who was identified in March 2020, had voluntarily put her DNA in the open genealogy databank, and opted not to make her data private.
In Nov. 2020, detectives sent Warren a piece of mail which included a gift card and an invitation to participate in a flavored-water beverage survey for a fictional product called Sparkling Icy.
Warren returned the survey, and police used the saliva on the envelope’s seal to extract DNA which was an exact match to the DNA found in the placental clot left behind in the Chevron bathroom 23 years prior.
According to police, Warren admitted she was the woman in the surveillance photo and left her baby in the trash can.
The court documents detail the interview and Warren’s version of what happened that night:
‘Warren said her pregnancy was unplanned and that the father of her child reacted negatively when she told him she was pregnant. Warren said that she could not handle the idea of having the child and blocked the pregnancy out of her mind. She ignored the fact that she was pregnant. She said that she did not receive any medical care during her pregnancy and did not tell anyone she was pregnant. Warren stated that the night of Baby Doe’s birth, she was riding in a friend’s car and started experiencing cramps. She asked her friend to stop at the gas station. Warren said that she went inside and delivered the child in the restroom. She said that the baby dropped into the toilet where she left him for several minutes. Warren said she panicked and placed the baby in the trash can, covering him with other debris inside. Warren said that “in her mind” she did not believe baby was alive, however conceded that she did not check the baby for vital signs, and admitted that she did not know for sure what the baby’s status was when she discarded him in the trash can.’
Prosecutors say Warren has no criminal record and is fully cooperating.
Come Monday, Warren was charged with second-degree murder.
Bail was set at $10,000, with Warren still in the King County Jail.