, 2022-05-09 14:07:28,
RED WING, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota woman has been arrested and charged in the death of her newborn who was abandoned at a lake nearly 20 years ago, and in a criminal complaint acknowledged abandoning another newborn whose body was found in the Mississippi River years earlier, state and local officials said Monday.
Investigators used advances in DNA technology and genealogical research to link the newborns to the woman, and community donations helped to pay for testing to resolve the cold case.
Jennifer Matter, 50, of Red Wing, was charged with second-degree murder in the 2003 death of a newborn boy whose body was found in Frontenac on the shore of Lake Pepin, a body of water on the Mississippi River. The child’s umbilical cord was wrapped about his body, the complaint said.
“This is a case that law enforcement had been working for decades without success until genetic genealogy provided an important lead that ultimately led to today’s arrest,” said Jill Oliveira, a spokeswoman for the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
According to court documents, Matter told investigators she abandoned another newborn in 1999 in the Mississippi River. Charges have not been filed in that case, which is still under review.
“For over 20 years, the deaths of these innocent babies have haunted our community and the countless law enforcement officers who have worked tirelessly on this case,” Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly said at a news conference.
When investigators interviewed Matter on May 5, she said she was living in Red Wing in 2003 and had gone to the beach to be alone because she was trying to lay low due to a pending arrest warrant, according to the complaint.
Matter told investigators she did not remember if she wrapped the baby in a towel or a…
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