Phoenix police arrest mother in 2005 cold case involving newborn found in airport trash can

Feb 20, 2024, 8:11 AM | Updated: 11:06 am

Person sitting in airplane chair with handcuffs on...

Police arrested a woman suspected in the murder of a newborn found dead at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in 2005. (Getty File Photo)

(Getty File Photo)

PHOENIX — Police arrested a woman suspected in the murder of a newborn found dead at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport over 18 years ago, authorities said Monday.

An investigation began on Oct. 10, 2005, after a baby was found wrapped in a a hotel bag in a woman’s restroom garbage can, the Phoenix Police Department said.

The baby, who’d only been alive for approximately 24 hours, became known as “Baby Skylar,” police said.

The medical examiner determined the child had been suffocated, supervisory Special Agent Dan Horan for the FBI Phoenix Field Office said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The case went cold after all leads turned out to be dead ends.

In 2020, it was determined the case would be worked on by the FBI Phoenix Violent Crime Task Force, which includes Phoenix Police Homicide Unit detectives.

How did detectives crack Baby Skylar’s case?

In November 2021, the FBI and Phoenix Police cold case detectives used investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) to establish a potential maternal match for Skylar.

The match was compared with evidence originally collected at the scene and identified a probable mother, 51-year-old Annie Anderson.

“IGG is not used to prove someone’s guilty at trial. IGG is for lead purposes only and can be a useful tool in cases like this one,” Horan said.

In January 2022, investigators traveled to the state of Washington to serve a search warrant and interview the suspect.

When investigators confronted Anderson in an interview, she gave them her account of what happened and admitted to being Skylar’s mother, police said. Anderson said she was in Phoenix during that time for a real-estate boot camp.

Following the investigation, a Maricopa County grand jury issued a first-degree murder arrest warrant for the suspect.

Anderson is being held by Washington law enforcement while awaiting extradition to Phoenix to face multiple felony charges, police said.

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Phoenix police arrest mother in 2005 cold case involving newborn found in airport trash can