KANSAS CITY, Mo. — DNA evidence helped police identify the mother of the dead 6-month-old girl found on Mother’s Day weekend in a wooded area in the 4000 block of Pittman Road.
Kansas City, Missouri, police responded shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, to a wooded area behind a vacant lot to investigate a reported dead body.
After hearing news reports that a dead infant was found in woods near the 10000 block of East 38th Terrace, a grandmother called police May 15 to say she believed it might be her 6-month-old granddaughter.
Three days later, DNA from a buccal swab confirmed the woman’s daughter was the dead infant’s mother, according to a search-warrant application for surveillance video filed May 22 by a KCPD investigator.
The woman who called police’s 25-year-old daughter had told her via Facerbook Messenger on May 7 that the baby girl had died in her sleep on May 4.
The mother had messaged at least one other person about the girl’s death as well and told yet another witness that the 6-month-old girl had died in her sleep May 4.
KSHB 41 is withholding the name of the infant and mother, because she has not been criminally charged in the case.
The grandmother was concerned because no funeral arrangements were made for the infant and the mother refused to provide additional info regarding the 6-month-old’s death.
Another witness, identified as Witness #3 in police records, reported being at the mother’s apartment with his girlfriend on April 28 and “noticed the apartment smelled horrific and there were flies and maggots around trashbags [sic] located near the front door.”
The same witness said the mother told him that the 6-month-old girl was not home. The mother later told Witness #3 that the girl had died and asked for money to help pay for her cremation. He and his girlfriend gave the mother $400.
The 6-month-old girl’s death was never reported to the Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office.
After being picked up for questioning by KCPD investigators, the woman initially told police she had only two children — a 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl — and denied having the infant daughter.
The woman later admitted to giving birth to a second daughter on Nov. 15, 2022.
She told police several versions of events, claiming her boyfriend saw the baby choking and locked her out of the bedroom as he tried to restore her breathing.
The mother, who had previously told at least one witness that an ambulance had responded to treat the baby girl, said the boyfriend broke her phone and refused to let her leave the apartment when she tried to dial 911 after later discovering the infant cold to the touch in her crib.
The mother claimed her boyfriend took the baby from the apartment the next day, telling her he was going to Arkansas but to tell other people he’d gone to Texas.
She said her phone wouldn’t charge and she had no WiFi due to a power outage when asked why she didn’t call 911 at that point.
Police seized a DVR, which investigators hope will include surveillance video regarding the mother’s claims about when the boyfriend left with the infant’s corpse, after a judge signed off on the search warrant.
No cause of death was noted in the search warrant application.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.