DNA evidence reopens 25-year-old cold case involving baby girl discovered in trash can

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JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY)- Twenty-five years ago a baby girl was found in a trash can behind a car wash in Jeanerette. One woman was steps away from the crime scene.

“My bedroom is still in the same spot, and [when] I’m looking out that window, that trash can comes to mind. I’ll never forget it,” Denise Gage said.

Gage was asleep in her bedroom when Baby Jane Doe was left in a trash can right next door at Bob’s Car Wash.

“Precious little baby. I’ll never forget it,” the Jeanerette resident said.

She says the trash can the baby was left in always sat underneath her bedroom window. That night, however, it had been moved.

“I truly believe if they hadn’t moved that barrel from my bedroom, I would have heard that baby that night crying.”

It still haunts Gage to this day.

“It disturbed me knowing that if that child would have been there, I could have saved that child’s life.”

Twenty-five years later, the case is still unsolved, but the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Department says they now have new leads.

“It kind of put [the case] back there in the forefront, and we put a detective on it to look at the new information,” Maj. Wendell Raborn, a spokesman for the sheriffs department, said.

That information involves DNA evidence.

In 1994, DNA evidence was in the early stages of development, but now genealogists are trying to link Baby Jane Doe’s DNA with the mother’s.

Since the Acadiana Crime Lab has preserved DNA from the crime scene all these years, they may be able to do that.

“With a DNA match, there would be no doubt as to who the mother is in this,” Raborn said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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