DNA leads to arrests 30 years after newborn’s body was found in dumpster

Posted at 2:10 PM, March 13, 2023 and last updated 7:25 PM, July 5, 2023


PICAYUNE, Miss. (Court TV) — More than 30 years after a newborn infant’s body was found in a dumpster, DNA led investigators to arrest two people on murder charges.

On April 15, 1992, the body of a fully developed newborn infant girl was found in a trash bag inside a dumpster behind a pizzeria in Mississippi. The Picayune Police Department said a farmer found the body while removing trash bags to feed his animals. The child was in a trash bag “wrapped in a towel with other items of trash.”

“I moved the towel, and I says, ‘Oh my god! That’s a little doll,'” the farmer told WWL in 1992. “Then I said, ‘That ain’t a doll. That’s human flesh.’ And it turned me sick. I just got out and got my truck drove to my house, and called the authorities.”

Picayune police said an autopsy revealed the baby girl was approximately three weeks premature and was likely born the morning of April 15, 1992. The autopsy revealed the infant lived for several minutes before it was smothered.

In 2021, the Picayune Police Department reopened the case and found that the infant had been buried by Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church. The church donated the plot and its members collected money for a headstone, which reads “Heavens Angel.”

In August 2021, a special agent with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations offered to assist the Picayune police using a grant that would cover forensic genetic genealogy testing on evidence that had been collected 29 years prior. Using what police described as “advanced DNA technology,” Picayune police developed suspects.

“You don’t work these cases. You live them,” Freddy Drennan, who was the Picayune police chief in 1992, told WWL. “This is one of those cases that I had hoped all along that we would be able to put some closure to.”

Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations said in a news release that DNA and fingerprints that had been preserved for 29 years identified the infant’s parents as Andrew Carriere and Inga Johansen Carriere.

Inga Carriere was arrested at her home in Avondale, Louisiana, on Feb. 28. Andrew Carriere was arrested in Galliano, Louisiana, on March 9. Both were taken to the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on charges of first-degree murder and were held without bond, according to online jail records.

Both suspects will be extradited to Mississippi.

“Without documentation and evidence collected and preserved as well as it was in 1992 this case would not have been solvable,” Picayune police said in a statement.