A Baby Was Found in a Backpack in Illinois In 2016 — and Suspect Mom Is Only Known by Her DNA
Baby Hope was found in a backpack wrapped in a toilet cover and bathroom rug
An unknown woman’s DNA profile has been indicted in connection with the death of Baby Hope, a newborn girl who was discovered dead in a backpack along a road in Wheaton, Illinois in 2016.
The indictment, which was announced Monday by the DuPage County State’s Attorney, alleges failure to report the death or disappearance of a child, a class 4 felony. The unknown woman was referred to as Jane Doe in the indictment.
Authorities were able to link her DNA profile to Baby Hope, WGNTV reports.
“The investigation into what happened to Baby Hope will not end until we have answers to all of our questions,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “For nearly three years, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office has dedicated significant resources to not only identify Baby Hope, but to also learn what happened to her.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the three-year statute of limitations on the charge filed against Jane Doe was set to expire next month.
Landscapers found the backpack containing Baby Hope along Plamondon Road around 3 p.m. on August 15, 2016. The little girl was wrapped in a toilet cover and bathroom rug. Since then, investigators have been trying to figure out her identity, what happened to her, her cause of death as well as the identity of her parents.
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Authorities believe Baby Hope’s parents are of Latino or Hispanic ancestry. Hope’s mother, authorities said, was taking a prescription medication called Lamotrigine or Lamictal commonly used for patients suffering seizures, epilepsy or sleep disorders, ABC7 reports.
“This has been an extremely tragic case but we have never stopped working to find closure for Baby Hope,” Sheriff DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said. “This indictment is one step closer towards a resolution that may finally explain the circumstances of what happened. Our office will continue to tirelessly work on this case until Baby Hope can finally rest in peace.”