Woman arrested in 2005 death of newborn who was found in a Phoenix airport trash can

For nearly two decades, it was a mystery who left behind ‘Baby Skylar,’ an unidentified newborn found dead in a trash bin at the Phoenix airport

PHOENIX — For nearly two decades, it was a mystery who left “Baby Skylar,” an unidentified newborn, dead in a trash bin at the Phoenix airport.

On Tuesday, Phoenix authorities announced that the child’s mother, 51-year-old Annie Anderson, was arrested in Washington state after DNA and genealogical testing helped investigators solve the case.

Police said Anderson faces extradition to Arizona, where she faces a first-degree murder charge after investigators obtained an arrest warrant from a Maricopa County grand jury.

It was not immediately clear whether Anderson already has an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Phoenix police also said they did not immediately know if Anderson has a criminal history or how many years she has lived in Washington.

Detectives began their investigation after the baby girl was found dead and wrapped in newspaper and a black plastic bag in a women’s restroom at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on October 10, 2005.

“The evidence at the scene indicated that the birth likely did not occur at the airport,” Phoenix police Lt. James Hester said at a news conference Tuesday. “The baby was born alive and then suffocated. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and the cause of death was asphyxiation.”

Police said the case was quiet for years before DNA evidence recovered from the crime scene and genealogical research led to a possible match in 2021.

In January 2022, authorities went to Washington to interview Anderson and “she identified herself as the victim’s mother,” Hester said.