Two decades after a unnamed newborn was left to die in the Texas woods, police have charged her mom


DNA testing has helped solve a decades-old cold case involving an unidentified newborn baby who was found dead and wrapped in a jacket in Texas 20 years ago.

In November 2001, the body of a newborn girl with her umbilical cord still attached was found next to a road in Johnson County, Texas, by a local resident picking up cans who raised the alarm.

Thanks to DNA evidence, the baby’s mother is now in police custody, according to the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Investigators called the child “Angel Baby Doe” at the time of her discovery as they failed to identify her.

Angel Baby Doe’s case remained unsolved for two decades until the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office enlisted Othram, a company specializing in forensic testing and DNA analysis, to analyze the collected evidence from the child’s case.

Shelby Stotts, is accused of 2nd degree manslaughter in the death of her newborn child, dubbed ‘Angel Baby Doe,’ whose body was found abandoned next to a road in Johnson County, Texas, in 2001
Shelby Stotts, is accused of 2nd degree manslaughter in the death of her newborn child, dubbed ‘Angel Baby Doe,’ whose body was found abandoned next to a road in Johnson County, Texas, in 2001 (Texas Attorney General’s Office)

“The death of Angel Baby Doe broke the hearts of the deputies and officers involved in this case,” Johnson County Sheriff Adam King said. Because this child did not have a family to advocate for justice or to grieve for her, the deputies filled that role. They never forgot about her and kept the case alive for over two decades.”

Othram’s team was successful in developing a DNA profile for the infant. Using the profile, the company’s genealogy team was able to establish familial connections that led investigators to the child’s mother.

On July 1, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the arrest of the child’s mother, Shelby Stotts.

Stotts faces multiple charges, including second-degree manslaughter, for allegedly killing her newborn daughter through reckless actions. They allege that Stotts left the newborn unattended in a roadside ditch and “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.”

“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 statement said.

Stotts will be prosecuted in Johnson County under the laws that were in effect in 2001, according to the attorney general’s office.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Othram has been involved in 15 successful cold case resolutions in Texas alone.



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