FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

LAPD Investigates Mystery of Mummified Infants

September 07, 2010  | 


Photo via Flickr.com (improbcat).

Los Angeles Police Department detectives are continuing their death investigation stemming from the discovery of the mummified remains of two long-deceased infants found in a storage trunk last month, according to the department.

The remains were found when residents of an apartment building were cleaning out a community basement. The detectives and coroner's officials examined other items found with the infants inside the steamer trunk that was marked with the initials J.M.B.

Materials in the trunk included two letters and several Christmas cards addressed to a Jean M. Barrie. A letter addressed to a Janet M. Barrie was apparently from Thomas M. Barrie in San Francisco who identified himself in the letter as Ms. Barrie's brother. A second letter addressed to Janet M. Barrie was sent by another family member from Canada. The correspondences to both Jean M. Barrie and Janet M. Barrie were sent to the same address.

Other correspondence from family members addressed to Jean M. Barrie referenced a "Janet" within the body of the letters. Using official Scottish documents and U.S. immigration records, detectives were able to confirm that Janet Mann Barrie and Jean M. Barrie were the same person. Barrie was born on Jan. 15, 1897, and records indicate she emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland during the mid-1920s.

To help detectives and personnel from the coroner's office determine Barrie's connection to the trunk's contents, investigators used photos and negatives from the trunk that depicted a white female wearing items of clothing that were also discovered inside the trunk, such as a purse and white fox boa.

Also included in the investigation was a search for death, marriage and birth certificates. During the search, detectives discovered Barrie's 1964 marriage to George Guy Knapp in Los Angeles after the death of his first wife, Mary Downs Knapp. Up to that time, Barrie had apparently been a homecare nurse for Mrs. Knapp since 1941.

Barrie's marriage to Knapp lasted only four years due to his death in 1968, and she eventually left Los Angeles in the 1980s. Several years later, she died in Canada where family members have been contacted in Canada.

Coroners have performed autopsies of the infants' remains with the assistance of an anthropologist. Both were full-term infants, including one female. The sex of the second infant has not yet been established. Thus far, trauma doesn't appear to be a factor in either infant's death. For now, the causes of death are classified as undetermined, and the case remains open, pending DNA and toxicology results for both infants.

Despite two other clues in the trunk — a copy of "Peter Pan" and a membership certificate to a Big Bear resort called the Peter Pan Woodland Club — investigators have ruled out a connection between Barrie and J.M. Barrie, the author of "Peter Pan," the Los Angeles Times reports.

UPDATE: Using DNA tests, LAPD detectives determined that Jean M. Barrie is the mother of the babies.

Tags: Investigations, LAPD


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Video: Chase, Standoff End With Fatal Shooting Outside Dallas Mall
A chase in South Dallas led to a standoff that ended with Dallas police fatally shooting...
Video: LAPD Honors Fallen Motor Officer
Officer Christopher Cortijo, 51, was stopped at a red light in Sun Valley on April 5 when...
Texas Officer Recovering from Weekend T-Stop Shooting
A Fredericksburg, Texas, police officer shot during a weekend traffic stop is out of ICU...
Texas Officer Dies from Crash Injuries
The accident happened Thursday afternoon on west Highway 287 in Midlothian. Officer Phares...
8-Year-Old Michigan Boy Charged with Assaulting Officer
Police were called and school staff requested an officer drive Edward to school. When the...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of over 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine