In August 2019, employees of McKnight Tire in Columbia, Missouri found a small backpack hidden inside of a tire and made a gruesome discovery. In the backpack was the decomposing remains of a full-term female infant. Due to the state of decomposition, the initial autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death or how long the child may have been at the location.
The Columbia Police Department investigated many leads over the past years but we unable to determine what happened to the infant and who her parents are. "Our investigation will be the voice of this baby," Assistant Chief Jeremiah Hunter said, "And we need your help, we need the community's help, and everyone in Columbia's help." As part of the ongoing investigation, the infant's case was logged into NamUs as UP59447.
In Fall 2020, Columbia Police Department partnered with Othram to use advanced DNA testing to develop new investigative leads that might help identify the infant. A DNASolves crowdfund was established to cover the costs of testing for this case. Othram used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the infant. In the course of genealogical research, Columbia Police Department received a tip that led to the identification of the female infant and her parents. On June 28, 2022, the Columbia PD investigators announced, via live press conference, the successful resolution of the case.
Columbia police identified Samone J. Daniels as the baby infant girl. She was 4 to 5 months old at the time of her death and her remains had been inside the tire since 2017. She was murdered, however, at a nearby hotel and left at the tire store.
If anyone has any further information that could aid investigators, they are encouraged to contact the Columbia Police Department at 573-874-7652.