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  1. #1
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    CA - Mummified remains of 2 babies found in 1930s trunk, Los Angeles, Aug 2010

    Inside the bag was a small bundle wrapped in Los Angeles Times newspapers from the 1930s. Xing unpeeled the newspapers and shrunk back in horror.
    Inside the doctor's satchels were the mummified remains of two babies.
    The women immediately called police, who are now trying to unravel a mystery worthy of Raymond Chandler. Investigators say the babies may have died up to eight decades ago - although they won't know for sure until tests are completed on the remains.


    Last edited by Cubby; 02-12-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mummified skeletons of two babies found in LA

    Authorities were examining the mummified remains of two babies found inside newspapers dating to the 1930s and placed inside an old steamer trunk in a Los Angeles apartment building basement, police said on Wednesday .

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67H5JB20100818

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting this JBean. I read it on the internet and hadn't known that you had posted a thread. I hemed and hawed about which subforum to put this in, because I think it would be interesting for the WSers that like to dig deep in older cases.

    Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department are working with few solid leads but some tantalizing clues, including a ticket stub from the closing ceremonies of the 1932 Olympics at the L.A. Coliseum.

    The trunk appears to have belonged to a woman named Jean M. Barrie. Inside it were postcards sent to her from far-flung locals like Korea and South America and a pile of black-and-white photographs.

    They show a beautiful, light-haired woman -- who may have been Barrie -– on vacation and in a long white wedding dress. Among Barrie's possessions was a membership to the Peter Pan Woodland Club, an upscale resort in Big Bear that offered guests swimming pools, skating ponds and hunting preserves.

    Detectives are examining Barrie's apparent interest in Peter Pan, especially considering that she shared the last name and initials of the book's author, J.M. Barrie, who died in 1937. Records show that a Jean Barrie who worked as a nurse lived about three miles from the apartment on South Lake Street in 1933.



    Sources with knowledge of the case said one of the babies appeared to be premature – and might have been miscarried or aborted. The other baby appeared to be a newborn.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-basem...,2775470.story

  4. #4
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    The resort that the Barrie in question had a membership to:

    http://www.bigbear.com/about/history/winter_sports/

  5. #5
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    CA - Remains of 2 infants found in 1930s trunk, Los Angeles

    LInk to AP news story:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...xTgCAD9HM4IA81

    Infant skeletons found in Calif. basement trunk
    By NARDINE SAAD (AP) – 8 hours ago
    Snipped:
    "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.

  6. #6
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    SSDI doesn't list a Jean Barrie who could be our person. Of course that doesn't mean much; in those days it was very easy to change one's name or go by an alias.

  7. #7
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    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

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

    Joanie

  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
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    I wonder if they both died naturally (ie the one they think was miscarried). My guess, being that they were found in a box full of good memories, was that they both died unexpectedly and she didn't know what to do with them but didn't want to bury them. I am wondering if they were hidden pregnancies too.

  10. #10
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    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...-basement.html

    More information on two Jean M. Barries, one a nurse and one a storyteller and performer.
    <-- Watched one too many Hanna-Barbera "teenage detective" cartoons as a kid.


  11. #11
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    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! :*(
    Last edited by Rindicella; 09-02-2010 at 01:44 PM.

  12. #12
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    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.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100903/...fant_skeletons

    " 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...."

  13. #13
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    LA Police ID Owner Of Trunk Containing Baby Bodies
    THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer

    POSTED: Thursday, September 2, 2010
    UPDATED: 9:26 pm EDT September 2, 2010

    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.

    The owner of the steamer trunk, abandoned for decades in the basement of an apartment building, was Janet M. Barrie, a Scottish immigrant who was born in 1897 and worked as a nurse in Los Angeles before moving to Vancouver, where she died, officials said Thursday.

    More at link:
    http://www.news4jax.com/news/24858372/detail.html

  14. #14
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    From Carlk's link:

    The name on the trunk was Jean Barrie but investigators established the owner's name was Janet after reading letters and postcards from relatives. Coroner's investigator Joyce Kato traced surviving Barrie family members to Canada by studying an online ancestry database and census forms and by examining immigration forms and other items from the trunk.

    Several amateur sleuths and genealogy enthusiasts contacted the coroner's office to offer help, but much of their information was based on the name Jean, not Janet, so turned out to be wrong, Kato said.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    Babies positively linked to Janet M. Barrie through DNA.



    VANCOUVER - Two mummified babies found in an abandoned trunk in the basement of a Los Angeles apartment building this past summer have been linked through DNA to a Scottish-born nurse who lived in the building and spent the last years of her life in the Vancouver area.

    Investigators tracked down relatives of Janet M. Barrie in the Vancouver area and DNA samples collected from a niece helped determine the babies were Barrie's.

    "The DNA was a match for familial ties. So, we're sure that both babies belonged to Ms. Barrie," said Los Angeles police Capt. Fabian Lizarraga in an email.
    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/the...#ixzz15SrZS2XH
    Last edited by CarlK90245; 10-13-2012 at 10:17 PM.

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