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Mysterious Case Of ‘Baby Hope’ Finally Sees An Indictment, Not Of A Person, But Of A DNA Profile

Three years after an infant was found dead in a backpack, authorities have charged the DNA profile of her mother.

By Gina Tron
Composite sketch of parents of 'Baby Hope'

There's finally been an indictment in the case of “Baby Hope,” a baby found dead in a backpack in Wheaton, Illinois three years ago. In a twist, though, it isn't an actual person that's been indicted, but a DNA profile.

Two landscapers made the grim discovery when they looked into a backpack left in the middle of a private drive on Aug. 15, 2016 and saw a dead newborn with dark hair, according to the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office.

The baby, still unidentified, was dubbed “Baby Hope.” The sheriff’s office began an investigation to identify the baby and to try to determine what happened to her.

Last week, a DuPage County Grand Jury indicted the DNA profile of an unknown female who they are calling “Jane Doe.” She is believed to be the baby’s mother. She has been indicted on a charge of failure to report the death or disappearance of a child, which is a class 4 felony charge.

In addition to charging the mother, the sheriff’s office has released images of what she may look like, which they created based off the DNA profile, as well as images of what they think the baby’s father may look like. They are believed to be of Latino or Hispanic ancestry. The images show what the baby's mother and father may look like at both age 15 and and 25.

“The investigation into what happened to Baby Hope will not end until we have answers to all of our questions,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said.  “For nearly three years, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office has dedicated significant resources to not only identify Baby Hope, but to also learn what happened to her. Their commitment to bringing justice to Baby Hope is inspiring. I have no doubt that because of their efforts we will get answers to all of our questions and justice will be served in Baby Hope’s honor.”

Hope’s mother was likely taking prescription medication called Lamotrigine or Lamictal, which is typically used to treat seizures, epilepsy or sleep disorders, ABC7 reported in 2016.

"And we believe she’s still out there and without the public’s help, I don’t believe we’ll be able to solve this case," Det. Dan Dorpat of the DuPage County Sheriff's Department said.

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 630-407-2400.