Crime & Safety

Woman, who left her baby girl in a ditch right after giving birth without clamping the umbilical cord, causing the baby to die, faces justice 22 years later

Texas – A cold case in Texas has reached a crucial turning point after more than 22 years, as advancements in DNA technology have led to the arrest and charging of a 48-year-old woman, identified as S. Stotts, 48, for the death of her newborn daughter in 2001. This case, which once seemed destined to remain unsolved, underscores the persistence of law enforcement and the power of modern forensic methods.

The incident came to light in November 2001 when a newborn girl was found lifeless, wrapped in a jacket, in a ditch along the road. Her umbilical cord was still attached, suggesting a very recent birth outside of a medical facility. The initial investigation revealed the baby had bled to death due to an unclamped umbilical cord, indicating neglect at the hands of the mother immediately after birth. Despite efforts, the case grew cold over the years until a major breakthrough came thanks to enhancements in DNA technology.

In 2021, authorities, in collaboration with a forensic DNA testing lab, managed to develop a genetic profile for the deceased infant. This profile led investigators, through genetic genealogy research, directly to Stotts, confirming her as the mother of the baby girl. Stotts was arrested on Monday, and AG K. Paxton announced her indictment on a second-degree manslaughter charge. She is currently held in jail on a $100,000 bond. According to authorities, Stotts abandoned her newborn, failed to provide necessary medical care, and did not secure the umbilical cord, actions that directly led to the infant’s death.

During her tenure as a paraprofessional at a high school, no one was aware of her dark past. Following her arrest, the school officials stated that Stotts was no longer employed and emphasized their commitment to thoroughly investigating the matter while adhering to board policies and state laws. Stotts’ next court date is set for July 23, where she will face the legal consequences under the statutes that were effective in 2001, the year of the crime. This case has not only brought closure to a long-standing mystery but also highlighted the evolution of forensic science, which can now provide answers years after a crime has occurred.

This case resonated deeply within the community and across the state, drawing attention to the importance of Safe Haven Laws. These laws allow parents to safely surrender unwanted infants at designated locations, a measure that could have prevented this tragedy had it been utilized. The arrest and upcoming trial of Stotts bring a sense of justice and closure to a case that lingered in uncertainty for over two decades. AG Paxton expressed gratitude for the dedication of the investigators involved and the advanced technology that made solving this case possible. As the legal process unfolds, the community hopes for a just resolution that honors the memory of the baby girl and prevents such tragedies from occurring in the future.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

Related Articles

Comments are closed.

Back to top button