DNA reveals nurse who moved to Vancouver was mom of dead infants found in Los Angeles

November 17th, 2010 - 1:36 am ICT by BNO News  

LOS ANGELES (BNO NEWS) — The remains of two fetuses found wrapped in a newspaper from the 1930s on August 17 of this year were the children of a woman who moved to Vancouver, police said on Tuesday.

The remains were found in the 800 block of South Lake Street in Los Angeles on August 17, wrapped in a newspaper presumably from the year 1934. It is believed the remains of the fetuses were there ever since.

The remains of the two mummified infants were found by two women who were cleaning out a large room in a multi-unit apartment building which was being used for storage. The women had been hired by the building’s owner to clear out a portion of the building that had been abandoned and neglected for many years.

Towards the end of that cleanout process, the women found several antique luggage trunks. Inside one of the trunks, they found what appeared to be two Doctor’s bags. Inside one, wrapped in the pages of a 1930’s era Los Angeles Times newspaper, was a mummified fetus. Inside the other, also wrapped in a 1930’s era Los Angeles Times newspaper was another fetus. The women then contacted police.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that the two babies were the biological children of Janet M. Barrie, a Scottish immigrant born in 1897. She worked as a nurse in Los Angeles before she moved to Vancouver, where she died in 1994.

“Investigators used familial DNA to make the determination after Barrie’s niece was found living in Canada and was able to provide a genetic sample,” a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department said. “The cause of death has not, and will likely not, be determined, but there were no obvious signs of trauma, and toxicology reports were inconclusive.”

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said it believes that the two babies were brother and sister. One was a fetus, while the other appeared to be a full term baby.

“The entire story will probably never be known,” police said, as everyone involved in the case has since died.

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