Florida woman admits to killing infant son in 1986 Greenwich cold case

A Florida woman has turned herself in to police on charges she killed her baby, decades after the newborn was found dead in a dumpster in Greenwich.

News 12 Staff

Nov 19, 2021, 12:58 PM

Updated 976 days ago


A Florida woman has turned herself in to police on charges she killed her baby, decades after the newborn was found dead in a dumpster in Greenwich.
Janita Phillips is charged with murder. In court Friday, all sides signed off on no bond.
Philips was released on a promise to appear with the condition she calls into the bail commissioner three times a week. The state's attorney and defense cited her otherwise spotless record and cooperation with police.
Phillips, now 62, appeared in court more than 35 years after police say she secretly gave birth to a baby in her apartment in 1986, then strangled him and left him in a bag in the dumpster outside her building - a secret she carried with her all this time.
"She indicated during her interview with Detective Girard that she did not inform anyone -- any friends, family of the pregnancy," said Greenwich Police Deputy Chief Robert Berry.
Court documents show Philips was interviewed back in 1986 after a sanitation worker found the baby in his truck when he emptied the dumpster. She denied any knowledge of what happened and would not agree to a blood test.
The case remained cold until 2019 when police say new forensic testing allowed them to re-examine previously collected evidence and confirmed blood on those items was a maternal match.
"DNA was just coming out as a very early science in 1986, and it has changed and continues to change," said Greenwich Police Department Chief James Heavey.
Phillips' warrant shows additional investigating last year led them to her home in Lake Mary, Florida.
Investigators collected garbage and recycling left on the curb and got a DNA match.
Police say they interviewed Phillips in September and that she confessed.
"Any way you cut the pie, it's a very, very tragic situation and she's had to live with this grief for 35 years," said defense attorney Lindy Urso.
Attorney Lindy Urso represents Phillips and says she is devastated about that time of her life.
In her statement to police she wrote, she knew her husband didn't want any more children and had big dreams of becoming a fashion designer.
"I didn't want to crash his dreams and fall down the rabbit hole of having a bunch of kids and stuck with bills and not being able to care for them or get to achieve his dreams," reads the statement.
"She's overcome whatever happened here. She's lived a stellar life, never been arrested. This is her first time every being arrested. She's raised a family, been married for all this time, working steadily for 30 years in the same industry," said Urso.
"This conclusion doesn't bring back baby John, but it reinforces that his life had meaning and that he will be remembered," said Berry.
Greenwich police recognized Detective 1st Grade Christy Girard's work on this case, specifically her tenacity and investigative skills.
News 12 learned in the arrest warrant that DNA confirmed Phillips' husband was the baby's father. Police say he knew nothing about this.
Urso says the couple raised three kids together.

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