Mother of 2 dead babies found decades ago enters Alford plea

May 13, 2022, 5:27 PM | Updated: May 14, 2022, 6:03 am
FILE -This undated file photo provided by the Greenville County Jail shows Brook Graham. Brook Grah...

FILE -This undated file photo provided by the Greenville County Jail shows Brook Graham. Brook Graham accused in the case of two dead infants found decades ago in South Carolina, including a baby girl who later became known as "Julie Valentine," has entered an Alford plea to three charges on Thursday, May 12, 2022.. (Greenville County Jail via AP, File)

(Greenville County Jail via AP, File)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A woman accused in the case of two dead infants found decades ago in South Carolina, including a baby girl who later became known as “Julie Valentine,” has entered an Alford plea to three charges.

Brook Graham entered the plea Thursday to two counts of unlawful conduct of a child and one charge of improperly disposing of remains, news outlets reported. The plea means she maintains her innocence but acknowledges that the state has enough evidence to find her guilty of the charges.

The charges arise from the discovery of remains of a baby boy in woods in 1989 and those of infant girl the next year who came to be known in South Carolina’s Greenville County as Julie Valentine. The county is in the state’s northeast.

The girl’s tiny body was discovered the day before Valentine’s Day in 1990. Authorities say a man picking wildflowers for his wife found a vacuum cleaner box holding a baby with black hair who weighed 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).

Greenville Police investigators tracked buyers of the vacuum cleaner. They said two names could not be ruled out and that Graham’s was one of them. Yet they could not make a case until former Police Chief Ken Miller ordered DNA testing, which authorities said had determined Graham was the biological mother of both infants.

When tests on the infant girl came back, it was determined the baby was half-Vietnamese and half-European, according to an attorney with the solicitors’ office. That office added that police went back through the file and saw where the defendant and her Vietnamese boyfriend had bought the type of vacuum box the baby was left in.

“Greenville County had also located a baby boy in April 1989 in a trash bag left in a wooded area that was the year prior,” the solicitor’s office said in a statement.

The solicitors’ office said the infant’s father and the woman’s sister never knew Graham was pregnant.

Police announced Graham’s arrest in April 2019.

“The state, under the facts, that we were able to investigate with law enforcement, only allowed us to charge her with unlawful neglect and the desecration of human remains. She had initially been charged with murder, and we dismissed those cases because no medical examiner could prove how the children actual died, and if in fact they were actually living at the time of birth,” Solicitor W. Walter Wilkins said.

Wilkins added that because of the delay in finding the bodies and their state of decomposition, medical experts and technology could not determine whether the children were “alive or not at birth.”

Graham is free on bond until a pre-sentence investigation is completed. A sentencing range was not immediately available.

Her attorney David Braghirol told The State on Friday that the full story has not been told but would come out in a pre-sentencing report conducted by a probation officer. He said there is no doubt Graham is the mother, but he added both babies were born dead.

Wilkins called the case very unique one and said of the final charges, “unfortunately this is the best evidence that we have to get justice for these two children that were left abandoned 30 years ago. We’re just glad to have this case moving forward in the right direction and we will be getting ready and getting prepared for sentencing.”

In the years since, Julie Valentine has become a symbol for child abuse prevention in Greenville County, memorialized with a sculpture in a local park and included in the name of an organization that works with abuse survivors.

Julie Valentine is buried in at a cemetery where the headstone reads “Baby Jane Doe” and under that, “Julie Valentine Feb. 1990.”

Terry Christy, one of the original investigators, told The State the woman’s plea does not bring closure for him. He thinks of the little girl often and sometimes goes by her grave when he visits the graves of relatives in the same cemetery. His wife, Julianna, was a victim witness coordinator who had worked years ago seeking to identify the infant girl and for whom Julie Valentine was named.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Relatives sit outside the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, Senegal, a town 90 kms ( 60 ...
Associated Press

President: 11 babies killed in fire at Senegalese hospital

TIVAOUANE, Senegal (AP) — Police were on guard and nearby residents and parents stood mourning outside a hospital in Senegal where a fire in the neonatal unit killed 11 newborns. Only three infants could be saved, President Macky Sall said before calling on Thursday for three days of mourning for the young lives lost. Mamadou […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Dr. Larry Nassar, appears in court for a plea hearing on Nov. 22, 2017, in Lansing, Mich. Th...
Associated Press

No charges for agents in botched Larry Nassar probe

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday it will not pursue criminal charges against former FBI agents who failed to quickly open an investigation of sports doctor Larry Nassar despite learning in 2015 that he was accused of sexually assaulting female gymnasts. The agency’s inspector general found that two former agents likely provided […]
21 hours ago
The Nakagin Capsule Tower, a famed capsule hotel in the Ginza district, shows its unique architectu...
Associated Press

Japan’s landmark capsules coming down to sit in museums

TOKYO (AP) — Nakagin Capsule Tower, a building tucked away in a corner of downtown Tokyo that is made up of boxes stacked on top of each other, is an avant-garde honeycomb of science-fiction-era housing long admired as a masterpiece. It’s now being demolished in a careful process that includes preserving some of its 140 […]
21 hours ago
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left, and his counterpart from the Solomon Islands, Jeremiah Mane...
Associated Press

China’s FM visits Kiribati, where fishing ground is at stake

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — China’s foreign minister was due Friday to visit the remote Pacific nation of Kiribati, where the future of a vast fishing ground is at stake. The four-hour visit by Wang Yi was his second stop on an eight-nation tour that comes amid growing concerns about Beijing’s military and financial ambitions […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks from the podium during a campaign rally, on May 1, 2022...
Associated Press

Trump loses appeal, must testify in New York civil probe

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, rejecting his argument that he be excused from testifying because his answers could be used in a parallel criminal probe. A four-judge panel in […]
21 hours ago
Christina Aguilera poses for photographers upon arrival at the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS benefit at...
Associated Press

Aguilera, Hanks, De Niro and more light up Cannes amfAR gala

ANTIBES, France (AP) — Robert De Niro was the honored guest at the 28th annual amfAR Gala Cannes, where one lucky guest won an auction to have lunch with the actor and a piece of his family history. One of the most anticipated events of the Cannes Film Festival, over 800 guests attended Thursday’s exclusive […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
Mother of 2 dead babies found decades ago enters Alford plea