A Michigan woman, 41-year-old Antoinette Briley, has been charged for the murder of her newborn twin boys 17 years ago. The Holland area resident was nailed after a breakthrough in genetic genealogy enabled investigators to connect her with the 2003 death of the twins. According to Sheriff Thomas Dart of Cook County, Illinois, Briley was arrested in Oak Lawn and charged with two counts of first-degree murder of her twins.
Sheriff Dart said an employee of a waste management company had on June 6, 2003, found the dead bodies of the newborn twins while emptying trash bins in Stickney Township, Illinois. A police investigation and the autopsy report showed that the twins died by asphyxiation after being born alive. The authorities ruled the death of the twins as homicide, but the case could not be resolved in 2003.
Using the latest advancements in genetic genealogy, the case was reactivated in 2018 and investigators acquired DNA evidence from a thrown-away cigarette that was linked to Briley. The new evidence indicated that Briley was the mother of the dead twins after it was matched to the DNA of the boys.
Chief of Public Safety at the Sheriff’s Department in Illinois, Leo Schmitz, disclosed that the case would have remained unresolved 17 years ago without the latest advancement in genetic genealogy. After it was learned that Briley was in Oak Lawn in Cook County, a traffic stop was conducted, and she was eventually arrested and taken into custody. Officials said the offender was distraught after her arrest since she did not expect it in any way.
Briley did not have an attorney to represent her when she was arraigned, so a public defender was appointed to represent her. Her bail was set at $150,000.