In December 2008, a newborn baby boy was found deserted on the side of a highway outside of Conway, South Carolina. The infant, who became known as Baby Boy Horry, was discovered by utility workers who were working in a wooded area near Highway 544. He was found in a Bath and Body Works tote bag and abandoned in the woods. It is suspected that the infant was days old at the time of his death. With only the infant and a bag to go on, there were few leads to work from and neither the infant nor his parents could be identified.
In 2019, just over a decade after Baby Boy Horry’s death, the Horry County Police Department partnered with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing could help provide an identity for Baby Boy Horry or a close relative. Forensic evidence was submitted to Othram’s laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the infant. Othram’s in-house genealogy team used the DNA profile in a genealogical search to produce investigative leads that were returned to law enforcement investigators.
Law enforcement continued the investigation, locating the father and then the mother of the infant. The relationships of both parents to the infant were confirmed through follow up DNA testing. In March 2020, Jennifer Sahr of Pensacola, Florida was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse. Investigators believe that Jennifer Sahr was a student at Coastal Carolina University at the time of the 2008 incident. In a September 2022 hearing, Sahr entered an Alford plea in the case and in June 2023, the case was closed with the judge reducing the charge of homicide by child abuse to voluntary manslaughter.