Arlington woman being held for allegedly killing newborn in Phoenix in 2005

Feb 21, 2024, 7:52 AM

Image: DNA technology led to a sketch that helped law enforcement capture 51-year-old Annie Sue And...

DNA technology led to a sketch that helped law enforcement capture 51-year-old Annie Sue Anderson in the 2005 murder of a baby in Phoenix. (Image courtesy of KIRO 7 via Parabon Nanolabs' snapshot DNA phenotyping)

(Image courtesy of KIRO 7 via Parabon Nanolabs' snapshot DNA phenotyping)

PHOENIX — Police arrested an Arlington woman suspected in the murder of a newborn found dead at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport over 18 years ago, authorities said Monday.

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, was arrested Dec. 20 without incident and booked her into the Snohomish County Jail, according to documents from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

An investigation began on Oct. 10, 2005, after a baby was found wrapped in a a hotel bag in a woman’s restroom garbage can, the Phoenix Police Department said.

The baby, who had only been alive for approximately 24 hours, became known as “Baby Skylar,” police said.

The medical examiner determined the child had been suffocated, supervisory Special Agent Dan Horan for the FBI Phoenix Field Office said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The case went cold after all leads turned out to be dead ends.

In 2020, it was determined the case would be worked on by the FBI Phoenix Violent Crime Task Force, which includes Phoenix Police Homicide Unit detectives.

More in Washington: Man in critical condition after drive-by shooting on I-5

How did detectives crack Baby Skylar’s case?

In November 2021, the FBI and Phoenix Police cold case detectives used investigative genetic genealogy (IGG) to establish a potential maternal match for Skylar.

The match was compared with evidence originally collected at the scene and identified Anderson as a probable mother.

“IGG is not used to prove someone’s guilty at trial. IGG is for lead purposes only and can be a useful tool in cases like this one,” Horan said.

In January 2022, investigators traveled to the state of Washington to serve a search warrant and interview the suspect.

When investigators confronted Anderson in an interview, she gave them her account of what happened and admitted to being Skylar’s mother, police said. Anderson said she was in Phoenix during that time for a real-estate boot camp.

Following the investigation, a Maricopa County, Arizona, grand jury issued a first-degree murder arrest warrant for the suspect. Child abuse and abandonment/concealment of a dead body charges were issued as well.

Anderson is being held in Washington while awaiting extradition to Phoenix to face multiple felony charges, police said.

Court records show she is set for a hearing in Snohomish County Superior Court on March 18, according to The Everett Daily Herald. Her lawyer in Snohomish County was listed as public defender Rachel Stine. Stine couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, the outlet added.

Contributing: Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest

SuElen Rivera is a web content editor and writer for in Phoenix. You can read more of her stories here.

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Arlington woman being held for allegedly killing newborn in Phoenix in 2005