An Indiana woman has been charged with homicide in the death of a baby girl found inside a Pennsylvania dumpster 13 years ago, authorities announced this week.
Tara Brazzle, alleged to have been the mother of the child, was arrested last week and charged on Wednesday with one count of criminal homicide in the September 2007 death of a baby who was later named Mary Anne by a member of a local Catholic church that held her funeral.
Brazzle, 44, of Valparaiso, Indiana, went by the name of Tara Indrakosit at the time and worked at the YMCA where the baby’s body was found by a worker on his regular trash duty.
According to a statement from the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, the coroner’s office in 2007 ruled the baby’s death as homicide due to complications of asphyxia, a condition when the body is deprived of oxygen.
“The death and circumstances of the discovery of Baby Mary Anne had a tremendous impact on this community,” District Attorney Heather Adams said in the statement. “The case was incredibly sad then and incredibly sad now, as those with ties to Baby Mary Anne begin to process and grieve a personal loss about which they are only now learning.”
The child’s body, wrapped in a bloodstained towel and several plastic bags, was found by David Ressler, then the YMCA’s facilities manager, inside a duffel bag that had been discarded in the dumpster at the back of the property, according to Lancaster Online.
“It never faded from my memory. It was a little traumatic finding a baby in the dumpster,” Ressler told the local news outlet.
Two months later, the Lancaster community held a funeral for the baby at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. The baby was named Mary Anne by Dolores Yecker, a lifetime member of the church, according to Chad Snyder, funeral director of Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes.
“She embraced the baby that was discovered, and worked with my father on handling the funeral arrangements,” Snyder told USA TODAY.
He added, “There were over 200 community members who attended her funeral service and burial. Even to this day, people visit her grave and leave flowers. Baby Mary Anne struck a chord in so many and left our community mourn for this baby. We also had the community help design her headstone.”
In a July 1 interview at her home, Brazzle admitted to being the baby’s mother and dumping her body in the trash behind the YMCA, authorities said. She was arrested the following day by police in California after taking a flight to San Jose International Airport.
She is being held at the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department without bail pending extradition to Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Contributing: The Associated Press