Horry County Police Department Teams with Othram to Identify "Baby Boy Horry"

After more than a decade, the parents of an infant boy, abandoned in 2008 by a highway in Conway, South Carolina have been identified.

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Published June 16, 2023 by Michael Vogen
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In December 2008, a newborn baby boy was found deserted on the side of a highway outside of Conway, South Carolina. The infant, who became known as Baby Boy Horry, was discovered by utility workers who were working in a wooded area near Highway 544. He was found in a Bath and Body Works tote bag and abandoned in the woods. It is suspected that the infant was days old at the time of his death. With only the infant and a bag to go on, there were few leads to work from and neither the infant nor his parents could be identified.

In the years that followed, the community rallied around the unidentified infant, ensured a proper burial for him at Hillcrest Cemetery and held memorials on the anniversary of the infant's death. In spite of tremendous effort from the community and law enforcement, all leads in the case were exhausted and the case eventually went cold.

In 2019, just over a decade after Baby Boy Horry's death, the Horry County Police Department partnered with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing could help provide an identity for Baby Boy Horry or a close relative. Forensic evidence was submitted to Othram’s laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the infant. Othram's in-house genealogy team used the DNA profile in a genealogical search to produce investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement investigators.

Law enforcement continued the investigation, locating the father and then the mother of the infant. The relationships of both parents to the infant were confirmed through follow up DNA testing. In March 2020, Jennifer Sahr of Pensacola, Florida was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse. Investigators believe that Jennifer Sahr was a student at Coastal Carolina University at the time of the 2008 incident. In a September 2022 hearing, Sahr entered an Alford plea in the case and in June 2023, the case was closed with the judge reducing the charge of homicide by child abuse to voluntary manslaughter.

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Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

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About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at ... Read morerecovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.