Mother of Ga. baby found dead in cooler identified 14 months later

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 9:31 AM EDT
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TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - The mother of a newborn baby found deceased in a cooler in Troup County, Ga. has been identified more than one year later.

19-year-old Caroline Riley Propes was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after genealogical DNA research identified her as the biological mother of the baby girl.

Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation on Jan. 6, 2019 after a cooler found on the side of Boy Scout Road in Troup was found to contain the remains of a full-term female newborn.

Witnesses in the area stated the cooler had been on the side of the road near the wood-line for several days, possibly up to a week.

“From the moment this case was opened, I and my team of investigators were determined to bring this case to a conclusion. I cannot thank them enough for their determination to close a case that touched many people and were it not for the work of DNA Solutions and Innovative Forensic DNA, LLC, this case may not have been solved. We greatly appreciate their assistance,”said Sheriff James Woodruff.

Investigators sent a sample of the baby’s DNA to DNA Solutions in Oklahoma City, Okla. for forensic analysis. Those results were then sent to Innovative Forensic DNA, LLC in Skippers, Va. for investigative research to confirm Propes as the baby’s mother.

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