Woman sentenced after pleading guilty in 2003 murders of newborn twins in Cook County

Antoinette Briley

A woman charged in the 2003 deaths of her newborn twins was convicted of murder this week.

Antoinette Briley, 44, pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The remaining counts against Briley were dismissed during the plea hearing.

The conviction comes almost 21 years after a Waste Management employee, who was emptying trash bins in an alley in the 4800 block of South Latrobe Avenue in unincorporated Stickney Township, discovered the twin baby boys.

An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the victims had been born alive and died of asphyxiation. Their deaths were ruled homicides. 

At that time, an offender could not be identified. 

In 2018, detectives reopened the case and utilized DNA from evidence recovered from the scene to identify the birth mother using genetic genealogy, officials said.

From that research and investigation, detectives identified Briley as the potential birth mother. 

Detectives then traveled to Holland, Mich., where Briley is from, and obtained a discarded item containing Briley’s DNA. The DNA from that item was strongly associated with the victims’ DNA, officials said.

On Dec. 3, 2020, Briley was taken into custody after learning she was in Cook County. 

Investigators said that Briley told them she had given birth to the boys in a bathtub in her grandfather's house. She said that she had put them in a duffel bag and meant to take them to a hospital, but panicked and dumped them in a garbage can instead.