DNA shows nurse was mom of mummified trunk infants

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Frank Stoltze/KPCC

Janet M. Barrie, pictured here in 1928 or 1929, the focus of a police investigation into the discovery of the mummified remains of two infants in a trunk in the basement of a MacArthur Park apartment complex. The purse and fox stole she is wearing in the photo were found in the trunk. Barrie died in 1988.

DNA tests prove the mummified remains of two infants found in a Los Angeles steamer trunk were from the children of the nurse who abandoned the box.

The remains were discovered in August by workers cleaning out an apartment building basement near MacArthur Park. The remains were wrapped in newspaper from the 1930s.

Investigators identified the owner of the trunk as Janet Barrie, a Scottish immigrant who was born in 1897. She worked as a nurse in Los Angeles before moving to Vancouver, where she died.

The Los Angeles Times reports Tuesday that DNA tests show Barrie was the infants' mother. An autopsy determined there was no trauma and the case has been closed.

The identity of the father and why the infants were kept in the trunk remain a mystery.

Information from: Los Angeles Times

© 2010 The Associated Press.

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