‘Baby Skylar’: Woman arrested nearly 20 years after newborn found dead at Phoenix airport

Woman arrested nearly 20 years after newborn baby was found dead at a Phoenix airport

PHOENIX — An arrest has been made in an 18-year-old cold case that involved the death of a newborn at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona, officials said.

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The Phoenix Police Department said that on Oct. 10, 2005, a baby less than a day old was found dead inside the woman’s bathroom at the airport, KNXV reported. The baby was found inside a hotel bag.

The baby became known as “Baby Skylar,” according to the news outlet.

DNA and genealogy led investigators to Annie Anderson, 51, according to KTVK.

Police said that Anderson was not initially a suspect. Police confronted Anderson and she allegedly admitted to the murder and told investigators what happened, according to the news outlet. However, authorities did not share that information.

Anderson was reportedly in Phoenix in October 2005 from Washington state for a real estate boot camp and had allegedly abandoned her dead baby, KTVK reported.

“In November of 2021, the FBI and Phoenix Police cold case detectives reviewed existing evidence and utilized Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) to help identify a potential maternal match for the newborn victim. Investigators cross-referenced the potential match with evidence originally collected at the scene and identified the probable mother of Baby Skylar,” a news release said, according to KNXV.

“Advancements in DNA and other forensic technologies in use by the Phoenix Police Crime Laboratory are getting better every year, which allows law enforcement to reevaluate evidence and find new leads that were not there previously,” Phoenix police Lt. James Hester said, according to KIRO.

Anderson is facing first-degree murder charges and is awaiting extradition from Washington to Phoenix, according to KNXV.

“I was deeply entrenched in this with my team I think we all were,” said former cold case detective with Phoenix Police Troy Hillman, according to the news outlet. A hearing is set for March 18, according to KIRO.

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