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What happened to Baby Garnet? Case explored as mother set to face trial over 1997 death of infant

The case explored as mother set to face trial over 1997 death of infant Baby Garnet (Image via Mackinac County)
The case explored as mother set to face trial over 1997 death of infant Baby Garnet (Image via Mackinac County)

On Wednesday, August 10, authorities announced that a Wyoming mother was detained and held responsible for the death of her infant, 'Baby Garnet.'

The woman, identified as Nancy Ann Gerwatowski, is currently awaiting extradition to the Upper Peninsula. She is set to stand trial for the death of a newborn who was found in an outhouse waste pit 25 years ago.

On Tuesday, August 9, Gerwatowski's most recent hearing took place in the 92nd District Court of Mackinac County. According to authorities, she admitted to being the mother of Baby Garnet.

A joint investigation between the MSP and Mackinac County Sheriffs Dept. resulted in the arrest of a female for open murder in the "Baby Garnet" case from 1997. The advancements in DNA and the excellent partnerships we share with our local partners helped solve this case. https://t.co/BRlgZ7n3VW

State police and detectives from the Mackinac County Sheriff's Office drove to Wyoming to speak to Gerwatowski. Police claimed that a multi-year inquiry that included following the infant's DNA ancestry to her family members helped them identify her.

The Mackinac County Sheriff Edward said in a statement that Nancy gave enough information that gave them probable cause to charge her for the death of the baby. He added:

"Additional information will be released after her arraignment."

Baby Garnet was between 38-40 weeks old when she was discovered dead in a septic tank

On June 26, 1997, a worker at the campground was emptying a septic pit when he came across a nearly full-term infant who had been gestated to for 38-40 weeks. The baby, who was named Baby Garnet because of where she was found, had autopsy and forensic tests done on her to figure out her identity.

Her body was found at the Garnet Lake Campground in Hudson Township, an area of the Upper Peninsula's Mackinac County. She was abandoned and presumed dead by the time her body was found. The identity of her family was unknown at the time.

Since there have been improvements in DNA tracking technology since then, investigators were able to start identifying the baby's relatives by 2017.

JUST IN: Nancy Gerwatowski has been charged with open murder in Mackinac County in the 1997 death of 'Baby Garnet' https://t.co/yWbfkNNrK5

A genealogist gave investigators the baby's mother's name and on July 12, 2022, detectives arrived in Wyoming and got in touch with Nancy Ann Gerwatowski. They interviewed the woman, who was a former resident of Mackinac County, but had moved to Wyoming.

The Mackinac County Sheriff's Office said in a statement:

"I want to thank all law enforcement personnel and Identifinders International, LLC for their hard work and diligence to help solve this case by identifying the perpetrator and bringing criminal charges."

The infant was buried in a white casket at the Hudson Township Cemetery and the neighborhood raised nearly $1000 for the casket. Her funeral was attended by nearly 40 people who brought flowers for the memorial service.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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