ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia police have identified the remains of a newborn found stabbed to death in a UGA dorm room nearly 27 years ago.
The baby was found in a trash can in a basement bathroom at Oglethorpe House on Jan. 8, 1996. The baby boy had suffered “multiple fatal stab wounds shortly after birth” and was placed in a trash can along with the mother’s placenta. At least one of the fatal stab wounds was to the heart.
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Investigators sent fingerprints found at the crime scene to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but weren’t able to get a match at that time.
Investigators revisited the case in 2020 using more sophisticated DNA technology. They were able to match the baby’s DNA to the child’s father, who then gave them the name of a UGA student who could have been the child’s mother, Kathryn Grant.
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The registrar’s office confirmed that Grant was enrolled in UGA at the time that the baby was found that her grades appeared to drop in the Spring of 1995 and that she also withdrew from some classes.
Investigators searched for Grant and found an obituary from 2004. The GBI told investigators that Grant’s death had been ruled a suicide.
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Detectives were able to match the DNA of another of Grant’s family members with the dead newborn.
“While I recognize the significance of closing this case, I have to simultaneously acknowledge the heartbreaking nature of the tragedy that took place. I think it’s absolutely vital not to lose sight of that,” UGA chief of police P. Daniel Silk said. “In the end, the technology that was needed to solve the case did not exist in 1996, but there is no doubt that the exhaustive groundwork performed by the original investigative team was vital to bringing about this conclusion.”
The baby was buried in Athens and given the name “Jonathan Foundling.”
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