View Full Version : CA CA - Remains of 2 infants found in 1930s trunk, Los Angeles

08-19-2010, 01:24 AM
LInk to AP news story:


Infant skeletons found in Calif. basement trunk
By NARDINE SAAD (AP) 8 hours ago
"LOS ANGELES Two infant skeletons wrapped in 1930s newspapers and placed in doctor's bags were found inside an unclaimed steamer trunk by a woman cleaning out the basement of a 1924 building that's being converted to condominiums, authorities said.

The skeletons, believed to be decades-old remains of fetuses or infants, were discovered late Tuesday in the 4-foot-tall green trunk inscribed with the initials JMB."

Sad. But interesting.

08-20-2010, 09:30 PM
The mystery of who owned the trunk in which the babies were found leads to several different women:

"A new name has emerged in the search to identify the owner of a steamer trunk that earlier this week was discovered to contain the mummified remains of two babies.

A woman named Janet M. Barrie lived in the same Westlake apartment building where the trunk had been stored for decades, according to voter registration records.

And although her name does not exactly match the name Jean M. Barrie, which police say was inscribed on the trunk, there are clues to suggest that Janet M. Barrie could have been the trunk's owner."
Los Angeles Times Aug 20th (http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-0821-babies-name-m,0,2392538.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews+%28L.A.+Times+-+Top+News%29)

This is the first time I have posted a link, hope it works!


08-20-2010, 09:35 PM
Could it be the same woman?
Police are talking about a "Janet M Barrie" who worked in the area at the time and lived in the apartment in the 1940-50's time frame (but was working in the area in the time when the newspapers were printed)

They are also speculating about a "Jean M Barrie" whose name appears inside the trunk.

Then there is another "Jean M Barrie" who lived on the East Coast and was related to the author of Peter Pan. There were Peter Pan items in the trunk... but are they all the same woman?

Was the owner of the trunk, the mother of the babies? DNA would show whether they were siblings. Or did she perform abortions for someone she was close to, and didn't dispose of the poor little babies? Why did she keep them? If it was the Janet M Barrie, she had possibly carried them for years, since she didn't live in the apartment until years after they were born. Was she afraid, or sentimental? Why did she leave them behind?

09-02-2010, 01:38 PM
It is indeed a mystery. I've kept a look out for more updates but I haven't found any. Are you aware of any updates to this story? I was gone for a few weeks.

Your questions are excellent. I guess the first thing they are going to do is figure out if both were fetuses that were aborted, or not? If it was an abortion, I doubt they will look into it further, since abortion has become legal in the intervening years. But if they were not and were delivered normally, this would make it a "suspicious death/possible homicide" in that case.

Of course, it is also possible that they were miscarried by natural causes. I wonder if the ME can determine that from umblical cords/lack thereof/etc. It would not necessarily have to be abortion. And I would assume there might be a law prohibiting keeping a corpse in that case, unreported and in your suitcase. Very strange. If she was "sentimental", perhaps she died suddenly and that is the reason the suitcases were never removed from the building?

Also let's not forget Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. There are many women who suffer through that, and I can completely understand a woman who might keep the bodies in that case. Poor babies, but also, poor, poor lady! :*(

09-03-2010, 11:45 AM
Well, they have identified the owner of the trunk.
JANET M. Barrie who lived in LA, worked as a nurse there, and then moved to Vancouver.
Here's the latest update from yahoo news/ap.


" By THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer Thomas Watkins, Associated Press Writer – Fri Sep 3, 1:27 am ET

LOS ANGELES – Investigators have identified the owner of a trunk in which the mummified remains of two babies were found, bringing them a step closer to solving the intriguing international mystery...."

04-23-2011, 04:30 PM
Another update
DNA tests prove the mummified remains of two infants found in a Los Angeles steamer trunk were from the children of the nurse who abandoned the box.

More on this sad story ... (http://www.scpr.org/news/2010/11/16/dna-shows-nurse-was-mom-mummified-trunk-infants/)

04-23-2011, 04:53 PM
Two L.A. Times articles may be the definitive sources of MSM information about this sad case:

A new woman emerges in basement babies case (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/21/local/la-me-basement-babies-20100821) (21 August 2010)


DNA tests reveal mother of babies whose remains were found in old trunk (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/16/local/la-me-basement-babies-20101116) (16 November 2010)

04-24-2011, 05:59 PM
Probably the dentist is the father? More than likely in my humble opinion. Given the era and that era's attitude towards unwed mothers and especially the unusual living arrangement? Sounds like a movie in a way.

RIP little ones.

04-24-2011, 07:41 PM
Yes, RIP babies and I hope that they are reunited with their mother who must have carried the guilt all her adult life

04-25-2011, 12:46 AM
hhmm now I am curious how she hid a pregancy, not once , but twice...and even more curious if there were any other children...that lived. Ah mysteries, they keep us thinking.
RIP little ones.

07-19-2011, 02:33 AM
Wow ..hard to believe they identified them .
Poor babies with no chance . Too sad .
RIP Dearhearts

07-19-2011, 02:38 AM
This happened in Toronto one time too I remember .

07-19-2011, 03:05 AM
Hmm I guess I'm suspicious because it sounds to me like she had an affair with the dentist and he delivered the babies and they killed them so the wife wouldn't know he had an affair and make her leave the house. But I also wonder how the dentist died 4 years after he married his mistress?

07-19-2011, 03:09 AM
I agree Chewy as it happened twice .

Dark Knight
07-19-2011, 10:45 AM
RIP little ones.