Detectives using advanced DNA technology in infant death cold case

The shirt police say the infant was found wrapped in on Dec. 21, 1996. (Photos: Virginia Beach police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Detectives are using technology in their investigation into an infant’s cold case murder.

On Dec. 21, 1996, the unidentified infant, nicknamed “Baby Hope,” was found inside a bag hanging in the female locker room at the Lillian Vernon warehouse on International Parkway. Police say the baby was found wrapped in a “Colours” brand red, short-sleeve polo shirt. The shirt had a logo on it with the words “Sport Athletic Champion.”

Virginia Beach police: 20-year-old infant death cold case still very active

The infant was a girl with black hair and had been dead a few days before she was found.

Investigators recently reached out to DNA technology company Parabon NanoLabs for help. Police say Parabon specializes in DNA phenotyping — the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence. Law enforcement agencies use the company’s Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service to generate leads in criminal investigations.

The results in this case indicate that the infant was 94.2 percent East Asian descent and that the baby’s mother and father possibly have Cambodian, Dai, Lahu, Thai, Vietnamese or the Philippine lineage.