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Twenty years ago, a custodian found the body of a newborn girl wrapped in a red golf shirt and hanging in a plastic bag in the locker area of the Lillian Vernon mail order warehouse. The baby was never identified, and the case was never solved. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)

Police are narrowing their search for the mother of “Hope,” an infant whose body was found hanging in a plastic bag at a Virginia Beach business in 1996.

The newborn girl’s body was found in a locker located in an employee-only women’s bathroom at the Lillian Vernon mail-order warehouse on Dec. 21, 1996. She had been dead for three to five days when she was discovered by a custodian.

The Virginia Beach Police Department believes she may have been born in the bathroom and left there.

In August, police collected a DNA sample from a 52-year-old Virginia Beach woman who they believe may have been Hope’s mother, according to documents filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

Police began to question the woman after using an investigative process called phenotyping, which narrowed the baby’s ancestry to East Asian descent.

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