A woman was arrested and charged with murder on Monday after a DNA sample found her to be the mother of a child found dead nearly two decades ago.
Jennifer Lynn Matter, 50, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the death of the newborn boy in 2003 and may face additional charges over the 1999 death of a baby girl who was also determined to be her child via DNA evidence, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
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"The tenacity of several investigators in our office to obtain justice for these babies and the perseverance by our community who assisted us in finding answers have led us here today," Goodhue County Sheriff Marty Kelly said. “We pray today's arrest and charges provide some closure to all of those effected."
Investigators received a DNA sample from Matter after executing a search warrant on May 2, according to the criminal complaint. Matter initially refused to give a sample and denied being the mother of the dead girl on April 25 but later admitted to abandoning her and the infant boy in statements made to officials on May 5, the filing said.
Matter claimed she was in a bad mental state when she had a baby girl in November 1999 and was not aware she was pregnant when she started bleeding after dropping her two children off at school and day care. The baby was not breathing when she gave birth in her bathroom, and she put the infant in the water near the boathouses, according to the filing.
When asked about the second baby, Matter was “almost positive” she was at the public beach in Frontenac, Minnesota, by herself when she went into labor in December 2003, the filing said. She left the baby boy on the beach and drove away, hoping someone in the nearby houses would find the baby, according to the document.
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Matter is being held at the Goodhue County Jail and is scheduled to appear in Goodhue County District Court on Tuesday.