GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Police have made an arrest in the death of a newborn whose body was found in Upstate field 29 years ago.
Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller announced the arrest Thursday.
The baby girl became known as Julie Valentine.
Chief Miller said DNA technology identified the baby’s father who pointed investigators to the mother, identified as Brook Graham, 53, of Greenville.
Graham was arrested Wednesday.
She’s charged with homicide by child abuse, according to jail records.
Chief Miller said the infant’s body was found Feb. 13, 1990 by a man picking flowers to give his wife for Valentine’s Day.
The baby was in a cardboard box, covered with bedding and rags, among garbage in a field.
Chief Miller said investigators determined the infant was full-term. It’s believed she was born three days before she was discovered.
According to affidavit, Graham and her boyfriend, the child’s biological father, lived in close proximity to where the infant was abandoned.
7News spoke to the child’s father on Thursday, who said he feels terrible hearing about the incident.
He told us investigators contacted him and told him he was the father.
According to him, he had no idea they were pregnant with a third child and said they have other children together, but said they’ve been separated since 1997.
He told us in recent months, authorities took his DNA and matched it to the infant.
According to Donnie Porter with Greenville Police, back in the 1990s investigatigators pulled transaction history from Sears to look up the names of people who bought that model of vacuum, and said Graham and her boyfriend were interviewed with many others but said police were unable to establish a link to the child’s death.
The Julie Valentine case is one of four cold cases investigators are working on now.
The Julie Valentine Center issued the following statement following Graham’s arrest:
I can’t tell you how many times I have said, “We may never know who Julie Valentine’s parents are.”
Today, although we have answered the question of who her parents are, we still have so many unanswered questions including the question of why. Although today we feel some satisfaction, closure, justice, at the same time we grieve. We grieve the loss of what could have been, all the firsts that Julie Valentine was never able to experience: the joy swinging on a swing, sliding down a slide, laughing, singing, dancing. This is the complicated nature of abuse, the wondering of what life could’ve been like if only… We ask the question of why, as If there is any explanation that would explain such a horrific act. This is the question we all have when a child is abused.
Today, I challenge each of us to not ask “Why”, but instead ask “What can I do?”
We may never be able to answer the question of why this happened, but we know that together we can honor Julie Valentine everyday with simple acts of kindness, service and love for every member of the Greenville Community.
Thank you to Chief Miller and the Greenville Police Department for their dedication to seeking justice for Julie Valentine. Their work on this case sends a message of hope for justice and closure for victims. It was an honor to be with two of the original investigators, Bush Banton and Terry Christie, as we all shared the news with our community.
Shauna Galloway-Williams, Executive Director