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

Discussion in 'Resolved Cold Cases' started by JBean, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    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.


     
  2. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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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. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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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.




    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-basement-babies-m,0,2775470.story
     
  4. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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  5. Rindicella

    Rindicella New Member

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    LInk to AP news story:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gC4lF05LyWU-WjNsvb243GQxTgCAD9HM4IA81

    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. iconoclast

    iconoclast Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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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. Joanie

    Joanie New Member

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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. Joanie

    Joanie New Member

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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. Claudette

    Claudette Alouette, je te plumerai

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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. tatertot

    tatertot Member

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  11. Rindicella

    Rindicella New Member

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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! :*(
     
  12. Rindicella

    Rindicella New Member

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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/ap_on_re_us/us_infant_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. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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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. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    From Carlk's link:

     

    Attached Files:

  15. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Babies positively linked to Janet M. Barrie through DNA.

    [​IMG]

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/th...babies+found/3831414/story.html#ixzz15SrZS2XH
     
  16. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    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 ...
     
  17. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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  18. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    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.
     
  19. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    Yes, RIP babies and I hope that they are reunited with their mother who must have carried the guilt all her adult life
     
  20. sreshowtime

    sreshowtime Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

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