A Baby Was Found Dead Along Texas Roadside 20 Years Ago, Having Bled Out. A Woman Was Just Arrested

Shelby Stotts was indicted on a 2nd-degree manslaughter charge after DNA testing allegedly identified her as the mother of a newborn left for dead in ditch in 2001

<p>Johnson County Sheriffs Office</p> Angel Baby Doe and Shelby Stotts

Johnson County Sheriffs Office

Angel Baby Doe and Shelby Stotts

After more than two decades, authorities in Texas have made an arrest in the cold case death of a newborn baby girl who was found wrapped in a jacket along the roadside with her umbilical cord still attached.

On July 1, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced in a press release that Shelby Stotts had been indicted on a 2nd-degree manslaughter charge after DNA testing identified her as the baby’s mother.

Authorities allege Stotts abandoned the newborn baby, dubbed “Angel Baby Doe,” in November 2001, in a ditch on a roadside south of Fort Worth. She allegedly “failed to seek prompt medical care after giving birth and failed to clamp the baby’s umbilical cord, which caused the child to bleed to death,” the release states.

According to a Facebook post from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, a local resident was picking up cans on the side of the road, when he found the “lifeless infant wrapped in a jacket with their umbilical cord still attached.” Investigators believed the baby girl was born alive, likely outside of a medical facility, and had only recently died before being discovered, per the post.

“Due to the circumstances surrounding Angel Baby Doe's death, investigators deemed the child's death the result of foul play,” the sheriff’s office said in the July 2 post. “The Johnson County Sheriff’s office worked tirelessly for more than two decades to identify Angel Baby Doe.”

In June 2021, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office said that it had submitted forensic evidence to DNA testing lab Othram in the Houston area in the hopes that it could help identify the newborn, per the post. Othram scientists used forensic genome sequencing to develop the baby's DNA profile, which they used to perform genetic genealogy research, eventually identifying Stotts as the baby's mother, the release said.

“Additional evidence suggests that the child was alive and breathing at the time of her birth and that Stotts is responsible for abandoning the child,” the attorney general’s release alleged.

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According to the attorney general’s office, Stotts will be prosecuted in Johnson County under the laws that were in effect in 2001. It’s unclear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on her behalf.

According to local Fox 4, Stotts previously worked at Cleburne High School in Cleburne, Texas. The school district provided a statement to the outlet, saying it is “aware” of Stott’s arrest and confirmed she no longer works there.

“After more than twenty years, we are closer to securing justice for Angel Baby Doe and ensuring that the person responsible for this tragedy is held accountable,” Paxton said. “I am thankful for our investigators’ talent and tenacity, and I commend the law enforcement professionals with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for their dedication to uncovering the truth.”

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