'Baby Hope' Remains Unidentified, a Year After She Was Found Stuffed in a Backpack
The baby was found off a private drive in Wheaton, Ill., one year ago.
In August of 2016, a newborn baby girl was found dead and stuffed in a backpack in suburban Illinois.
Despite a tireless investigation, authorities have not yet been able to identify the girl known as Baby Hope, one year later.
In spite of all setbacks, the Dupage County Sheriff's Office wants the name they gave her to be a rallying cry for a community that still clings to the possibility the baby will be identified.
And they're hoping newly released information will help unravel the mystery.
"Today we are releasing to the public that it was determined by the DuPage County Coroner’s Office that Baby Hope took at least one breath before she passed away," the sheriff's office said Wednesday, on the anniversary of the day Baby Hope's remains were found along a private drive in Wheaton.
This is the second time investigators released new details on the case in a bid to ignite the public’s interest in Baby Hope’s case and ask the public to help identify her parents.
In October of 2016, the office announced they'd used a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping.
According to a Dupage County Sheriff's Office press release, DNA phenotyping is the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.
Law enforcement agencies use such technology to narrow suspect lists and generate leads in criminal investigations.
"It is important the public is aware that based on the DNA phenotyping, both of Baby Hope’s parents are of Latino ancestry," the office said.
Since October, investigators have worked numerous leads in an attempt to identify Baby Hope’s parents. They also created Hope’s Garden in an effort to carry on the child's memory while making a positive impact on the community.
"Hope’s Garden provides criminal offenders who are sentenced to the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program the opportunity to be productive by planting vegetables and maintaining the garden," the statement reads.
The sheriff’s office donates produce grown in the garden to local food pantries.
The Illinois State Crime Commission has told the sheriff’s office that they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification and location of the mother or father of Baby Hope.
Anyone with information is asked to call 630-407-2400. All callers will remain confidential, officials said.
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