Mum arrested in mysterious 2018 newborn case found dead off Florida coast: Police

Four and a half years ago, a newborn diary was found dead floating in the ocean off the Florida coast. The case went cold without fruitful clues, and the baby girl was never identified.

On Thursday, officials in Palm Beach County said they had arrested the baby’s mother with the help of the same genealogy database that led to an arrest in the “Golden State Killer” case in California.

“I asked for the public’s support as I stood in front of the same cameras four years ago and tried to figure out what happened and who this unidentified boy was,” Steven Strivelli, Captain of the Palm Beach County Special Investigations Unit, told reporters at a news conference. briefing Thursday. “I am very, very happy to announce today that we have all these questions answered.”

An off-duty firefighter was navigating the boat when he spotted the small body floating on the ocean side of Boynton Beach Inlet on June 1, 2018, officials said at the time. The newborn baby was named “Baby June,” and authorities have released an artist-drawn image of what the baby might have looked like at birth.

On June 4, 2018, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office published this sketch of a baby girl found dead on June 1 off Boynton Beach, Florida.

Palm Beach Sheriff

Strivelli said investigators looked through records of all newborns in Palm Beach and Broward counties, but found nothing. A $10,000 reward was offered for information leading to the arrest. Still, none of the tips they received helped, and the cold case team took the case, he said.

“We were starting to look like we were heading for a dead end,” Strivelli said, until the crime lab and cold case team identified the baby’s father.

Using investigative genetic genealogy, a technique also used to solve the “Golden Gate Killer” case, the sheriff’s office uploaded the newborn baby’s DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, a public database, and was able to identify a close relative, according to Julie Sikorsky. head of the office’s forensic biology unit.

“We reconstructed the family tree and identified close relatives and then made the connection with our suspect today,” Sikorsky told reporters.

Detective Brittany Christoffel of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said investigators had found the likely father of the newborn, which they confirmed with DNA testing. According to Christoffel, the father told investigators that he had a girlfriend who said she was pregnant with him at the time but was “taking care of it”.

“He didn’t know anything about this baby,” Christoffel said. “She thought she might have had an abortion.”

Christoffel said investigators obtained a “confidential DNA sample” from his ex-girlfriend, which was “a piece of trash he had thrown,” and confirmed that she was the mother of the newborn baby.

They learned from the search warrants that on May 30, 2018 – 48 hours before the baby was found – he was in the bay and had searched and saw news about the discovery in the following days and weeks.

“But it never stood out all this time,” Christoffel said.

PHOTO: On June 4, 2018, the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office released this image showing the place where a baby girl was found dead on June 1 off Boynton Beach, Florida.

On June 4, 2018, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office released this image showing the place where a baby girl was found dead on June 1 off Boynton Beach, Fla.

Palm Beach Sheriff

Christoffel said they interviewed several friends and family members, as well as the mother, identified as 29-year-old Arya Singh. Christoffel said detectives knew nobody knew about the incident and determined that Singh “was solely responsible for the baby’s ending at Boynton Beach Inlet.”

Singh was detained on Thursday and will be charged with first-degree murder, according to Palm Beach County state prosecutor Dave Aronberg. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer who can speak for him. ABC News was unable to reach members of his family.

Singh reportedly told investigators that she didn’t know she was pregnant until she gave birth on May 30, 2018, and she wasn’t sure if the baby was dead or alive.

“The baby was already dead by the time he entered the cove,” Christoffel said.

PHOTO: Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw holds a press conference on December 15, 2022.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw held a press conference on December 15, 2022.


The baby June cold case marked the sheriff’s office’s first use of investigative genetic genealogy, also known as forensic genetic genealogy, and is believed to be the first use of the practice growing in Florida.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said his office would likely use him again.

“It’s a whole new world when it comes to technology,” Bradshaw told reporters. “At the beginning, a lot of people said, ‘You have nothing, you’re lucky if you find someone in this business.'”

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