A Michigan woman was arraigned Saturday on two counts of first-degree murder, 17 years after her newborn twin boys were found dead in a trash bin in a Chicago suburb, authorities said.
Antoinette Briley, 41, of Michigan was charged Friday night with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of her newborn twin sons in unincorporated Stickney Township.
On June 6, 2003, the victims were discovered by a Waste Management employee who was emptying trash bins in an alley in the 4800-block of South Latrobe Avenue, according to a Cook County sheriff’s release.
According to authorities, an autopsy determined the infants were born alive and died of asphyxiation. Their deaths were ruled homicides and an investigation followed but the case remained unsolved.
In 2018, Cook County Sheriff’s Police reopened the investigation and used DNA from the scene to attempt to identify the birth mother.
According to a statement from sheriff’s police, investigators used genealogy research to identify Briley as a potential birth mother. Investigators then traveled to Holland and “obtained a discarded item containing Briley’s DNA.”
The DNA was a match, the sheriff’s police said.
“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.
Investigators learned Thursday that Briley was in Cook County and conducted a traffic stop to take her into custody.
Sean Gleason, deputy chief of the Cook County Police Department’s detective division, said that Briley was “distraught” when she was arrested. Briley, who has a daughter, had been previously arrested for misdemeanors but not for any other crimes, he said.
At a bond hearing Saturday, Briley was appointed a public defender to represent her and her bail was set at $150,000, according to the sheriff’s department.