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DNA & Ancestry technology credited with cracking 14-year-long deadly mystery in Lancaster

Newborn baby Mary Anne was found dead in a dumpster outside the YMCA in Lancaster in 2007. Now, her alleged mother is charged with homicide.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Fourteen years after the body of newborn baby Mary Anne was found wrapped in a bloody towel inside bags outside a dumpster of the former YMCA on N. Queen St in Lancaster, police have announced an arrest.

They credit DNA, genealogy mapping, and a determined Sergeant for finding the alleged mother, 44-year-old Tara Brazzle of Indiana, who is now charged with homicide. 

In 2016, the case of baby Mary Anne went cold. Sergeant Randell Zook of the Lancaster City Bureau of Police became the lead investigator. DNA evidence collected in the case was analyzed and police turned to Parabon NanoLabs, a company known for combining genetic analysis with genealogical research to determine ancestry.

In 2018, investigators uploaded baby Mary Anne's DNA into a public genetic genealogy database where they were able to track down a second cousin of the victim. 

Sgt. Zook examined open-source information and police databases. His research combined with the work with Parabon Labs resulted in building a 'reverse family tree.' 

Investigators said that information led them to Brazzle, who they claim worked for the YMCA in 2007 and went by the name of Tara Indrakosit. In July of 2021, Brazzle was interviewed in Indiana by police. The next day investigators said she boarded a plane to San Jose, California where she was arrested after leaving the flight.

Authorities believe the baby girl had been born alive and her body dumped at the site. The Lancaster County Coroner's Office ruled the death a homicide due to complications of asphyxia. The child is believed to have been within 35-to-38 weeks gestation.

Police are asking anyone with information into the crime to contact them.

RELATED: Alleged mother of 'Baby Mary Anne' arrested for 2007 homicide in Lancaster