Police ID mom of baby found stabbed to death in UGA dorm decades ago

A decades-long investigation into the stabbing death of a baby boy found inside a trash can at a University of Georgia residence hall has finally come to a close.

On Jan. 8, 1996, police say a custodian discovered the body of a newborn boy and placenta in the first-floor bathroom of Oglethorpe House dormitory. The child reportedly had been stabbed multiple times after birth before being hidden in a trash can.

For 27 years, police have worked to identify the mother of the boy, but had come up short. Now due to new DNA technology, investigators say they were successfully able to connect the child with a former UGA student.

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FILE - On Jan. 8, 1996, the body of a newborn male infant was found in a trash can inside the first-floor restroom of the Oglethorpe House residence Hall (FOX 5 Atlanta).

In 2021, officials say genealogical DNA testing identified an individual as the father of the child, who later confirmed with them that he lived on campus at the time and had a sexual relationship with a student. The man told them that he could only remember her last name being something like Grant.

Further investigation led police to a student named Katherine Grant, who lived in the residence hall at the time of the incident. She had left the school and the Athens area months after the discovery of the child.

Following the lead, officials learned that Grant had died by suicide in 2004 in Wilkes County, Georgia. She was 29 years old.

A DNA test from Grant's brother revealed a match that confirmed that she was the boy's mother, police say.

"I am appreciative of the dedication of all of the personnel involved in this effort – both those who work at the UGA Police Department and our partners, such as the scientists at Othram, Inc," University of Georgia Chief of Police P. Daniel Silk said in a statement. "However, while I recognize the significance of closing this case, I have to simultaneously acknowledge the heartbreaking nature of the tragedy that took place. I think it’s absolutely vital not to lose sight of that."

Silk had been a patrol officer in Athens at the time of the incident and said he had been "moved by the outpouring of concern and care from the UGA community and beyond."

Due to the recent discoveries, police say they have determined that Grant gave birth to the victim in the case and was the only one involved in the act that led to the child's death.

Because of Grant's death, police say the case is "exceptionally cleared."

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide. Call 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential emotional support.