Mom, 51, Confesses to Cold Case Murder of 'Baby Skylar,' Newborn Found Dead in Airport Trash Bin, Say Police

Annie Anderson
A computer-generated composite of Annie Anderson (above) created before her arrest.PPD

"When confronted, Annie Anderson identified herself as the mother of the victim and provided an account of what occurred," said Lt. Hester of the Phoeniz Police Department..

A Washington woman has confessed to murdering her newborn daughter in 2005 and then disposing of the infant's body in an Arizona airport trash can, according to police.

Lt. James Hester of the Phoenix Police Department announced at a news conference on Tuesday that Annie Anderson, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of that newborn, who came to be known as "Baby Skylar" in a cold case that went unsolved for nearly 20 years. 

Airport staff discovered the body of Baby Skylar on Oct. 10, 2005 in a restroom at Sky Harbor Airport.

Officers were then called to the scene where they found "a female newborn, wrapped in newspapers and a white towel, stuffed in a plastic bag with red Marriott lettering, deceased," Hester said.

"The evidence on the scene indicated that the birth likely did not occur at the airport, and the bathroom is where the baby was abandoned by the suspects or the suspect," Hester noted on Tuesday.

Two days later, the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and the cause suffocation.

Hester said that despite their best efforts, detectives with the homicide division failed to find any evidence based on the few leads police had in the case.

Then, in 2019, the Phoenix Police Department partnered with the FBI on the case and used genetic genealogy to try and find the parents of "Baby Skylar," according to Hester.

Special Agent Dan Horan said on Tuesday that the two agencies performed investigative genetic genealogy on the child, a process that can match the DNA of a person to potential family members by scanning federal databases.

That process identified a potential relative who agreed to further testing, Horan said, and that testing led authorities to Anderson in 2022.

"When confronted, Annie Anderson identified herself as the mother of the victim and provided an account of what occurred," Hester said.

Few details about what happened that day were shared by police on account of the ongoing investigation, but Hester did say that Anderson had been attending a real estate boot camp in Phoenix at the time.

Jail records show that the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office arrested Anderson on Dec. 21 and booked her into the county jail as a fugitive.

Hester also said that police had identified the baby's father and determined that he had no "criminal culpability" in the case.

Now, police await Anderson's extradition.

“We have a dead child, we have an identified mother, and we have her statement,” Hester said.

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