After 35 years, woman arrested for the murder of her infant son

Greenwich, Connecticut police have been seeking the person who murdered an infant boy and threw his body into a dumpster since 1986. Today they announced the boy’s mother has confessed and been arrested for murder more than 35 years later.

On May 16, 1986, an infant male child was found deceased inside a sanitation truck that had just emptied a dumpster at the apartment building located at 27 Havemeyer Place in Greenwich. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was strangulation and ruled the case a homicide. It was determined that the child was born alive and that he was killed soon after birth.

Greenwich Police Detectives at the crime scene collected multiple pieces of evidence, including items soaked with blood. Numerous interviews were conducted with residents of the apartment building. Investigation at the time, and in the subsequent years, was unable to positively identify the killer of the child.

The child was nicknamed “baby John” and efforts to solve the case over the past 30+ years failed. But last year, police tested the DNA found at the scene and somehow got a match. The police statement doesn’t explain exactly how they connected this DNA to a specific person but they eventually identified Janita Philips as the boy’s mother. Philips had been living at 27 Havemeyer Place in Greenwich when the body was discovered but had moved to Lake Mary, Florida shortly afterwards.

In September 2021, Greenwich Police Detectives traveled to Florida and with assistance from Detectives from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office conducted an interview with Ms Philips. During this interview, and in a subsequent written statement, Philips admitted that she was the mother of the child and that she caused his death. Additional DNA testing further confirmed that Philips was the mother of the deceased child.

Philips was charged with murder on Wednesday and surrendered herself to police in Greenwhich earlier today. The police statement ends on a more personal note from the Deputy Chief: “There have been many Greenwich Detectives over the last thirty-five years who have investigated this case to the extent of the resources available to them, but I would like to especially single out the work of Greenwich Police Detective First Grade Christy Girard whose tireless efforts, investigative skill and ingenuity brought this investigation to a successful conclusion.”

Local news reporter Marissa Alter has some updates on the case, starting with this mugshot:

She also pulled up the original news story on the discovery of the boy’s body which I used as a photo above:

Police have held a press conference about the case:

And finally the defense lawyers also spoke to the media:

It’s deeply weird that the defense is brining up her other three kids as part of her defense. Arguing that someone only murdered one out of four of their kids doesn’t seem like a great point to me but I guess it’s all they’ve got.

Allahpundit Dec 03, 2021 3:21 PM ET