Cook County sheriff's detectives watching Antoinette Briley waited for her to finish her cigarette. She dropped it, and they picked it up, giving them the DNA sample they needed. Briley, 41, is now charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her two newborn twins, WBBM reports. The boys were found in June 2003 after being left in a trash bin. They had been born alive, an autopsy found, then died of asphyxiation. The investigation at the time didn't lead to any arrests, but the technology has changed. DNA tracing led to the identification of Briley as the twins' birth mother. "Seventeen years ago we wouldn't have made this case this way," a sheriff's official said Saturday, per CNN.
Briley, who lives in Michigan, was arrested Thursday after detectives found out she was in Illinois. Sheriff's officials said Briley told them she gave birth to the boys in a bathtub and acknowledged that they were alive. She decided to go to a hospital and put them in a duffel bag. On the way, they said, Briley "decided that because nobody knew, nobody would ever know" and stopped to leave them in a trash bin. "Two twins died 17 years ago. We handled the case back then," a sheriff's official said. "We felt a void, because we couldn't find out who did it." Detectives said Briley told them she "wishes she could take the whole day back." (Read more DNA evidence stories.)