'Baby Skylar' cold case: Newborn found dead at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, mother arrested

Police say a woman has been arrested nearly 20 years after her newborn baby was found dead at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

"Baby Skylar" was found wrapped in newspapers and a towel, and stuffed in a hotel plastic bag in a trash can in a Terminal 4 women's restroom at the airport on Oct. 10, 2005.

"They discovered a female newborn, wrapped in newspapers, and a white towel, stuffed in a plastic bag with red Marriott Lettering, deceased," said Lt. James Hester with the Phoenix Police Homicide Unit.

"It's disgusting. Disgusting. Who would do such a thing?" said a person during an interview in 2005.

The infant's death was ruled a homicide, and the manner of death was suffocation.

For years, detectives worked the case, even releasing a composite back in 2017 of what they believed the mother of the child looked like.

In 2021, the FBI helped officers use genetic genealogy to find a maternal match for the victim. That was cross-referenced with DNA collected from the scene.

"Through the genealogy, we identified someone in the family tree, That person consented to a sample and led the investigation further to Ms. Anderson," said Dan Horan with the FBI Violent Crime Task Force.

Also Read: What is genetic genealogy?

Court documents show plainclothes officers asked Annie Anderson to come outside her home in Arlington, Wash., to look at her car. That’s when police arrested her, just three days before Christmas, without incident.

Anderson is accused of multiple criminal offenses, including murder and abandonment or concealment of a dead body.

"This community that we serve rightfully expects that all of our victims are never forgotten," said Lt. Hester.

The murder case went unsolved for years as investigators used different technologies in hopes of finding the baby's mother.

Annie Anderson Baby Skylar

Annie Anderson, 51, was arrested after a dead infant was found wrapped in a bag in a trash can in a Terminal 4 women's restroom at the airport in October 2005.

In 2017, a tool called "Snapshot" used DNA that was left on "Baby Skylar" to create a composite sketch of the mother

A few years later, investigators say they were able to identify a potential maternal match for the victim.

"Investigators cross-referenced the potential match with evidence originally collected at the scene and identified the probable mother of Baby Skylar," police said. 

Anderson, 51, has been extradited to Arizona and was booked into Maricopa County Jail.