Body of Alabama infant found dead 41 years ago, exhumed in hope new DNA technology can identify her

Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Alabama criminal investigators exhumed the tiny body of a newborn found dead in a cardboard box at a trash dump more than 40 years ago in hopes that new DNA technology may help them identify the child.

The case started in February 1982 when the body of a deceased infant was located in an old trash dump in the Alabama community of Pleasant Grove in Marshall County.

The baby appeared to be a newborn, that had been birthed at full-term, sheriff’s investigators said.

The body was found in a small lady’s housecoat, and left at the trash dump in a cardboard box.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Office investigators worked diligently on the case, but were never able to generate any usable leads as to the identity of the child or the parents.

The body was autopsied, and then returned to the Marshall County Coroner’s Office. The child was buried in the Crestview Cemetery in Guntersville under the name of Angel Jane Doe.

While working with an outside DNA contractor on another case, this case was brought to the attention of current sheriff’s investigators who began working with the Marshall County Coroner’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office to identify the child, and bring some closure to the case.

With advancements in DNA technology, it was determined that genetic genealogy testing would be the best course of action.

Coroner Cody Nugent was able to secure an exhumation order for the remains, and on November 30, the remains of Angel Jane Doe was retrieved from Crestview Cemetery.

The remains will be sent to Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for DNA retrieval.

“We recently had success with genetic genealogy in another case, and are hopeful that the same technology can be used to help resolve this case as well,” investigators wrote on social media. “This is a process that can take a few months to several years.”

Anyone with information regarding baby Angel Doe to contact Marshall County Sheriff’s Investigators at 256-582-2034.