COOK COUNTY, IL (WXYZ) — An extensive Sheriff’s Police cold case investigation has led to murder charges against a Michigan woman for the deaths of her newborn twin sons more than 17 years ago, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Saturday.
Antoinette Briley, 41, of Holland, Mich., was charged Friday night with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of her sons. Back on June 6, 2003, the victims were found by a Waste Management employee who was emptying trash bins in an alley in the 4800 block of South Latrobe Avenue in Stickney Township and saw the bodies in the front lift bucket of her garbage truck.
According to the Cook County Sheriff's Office, a subsequent autopsy determined the victims were born alive and died of asphyxiation, and the deaths were ruled homicides. Sheriff’s police conducted a thorough investigation at the time, but the case remained unsolved.
In 2018, Sheriff’s police reopened the case and used DNA from evidence recovered from the scene in an effort to identify the birth mother using the latest developments in genetic genealogy.
The Sheriff's Office says a breakthrough from that research and subsequent investigations allowed detectives to eventually identify Briley as the victims’ potential birth mother. As part of the investigation, Sheriff’s Police detectives traveled to Holland and obtained a discarded item containing Briley’s DNA, which was matched to the DNA from the victims.
On Thursday, Sheriff’s Police obtained information that Briley was in Cook County and took her into custody after a traffic stop in Oak Lawn. Briley was scheduled to appear at the George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for a bond hearing on the charges.