MOLINE, Ill. — On April 13, 1992, a man walking his dog found an infant later dubbed "Baby April" inside a trash bag along the shore of the Mississippi River. Just days later, the baby was buried at Moline's Riverside Cemetery.
Funeral attendees came from the community to try and make sense of a senseless act.
"It's not fair. There are so many people that cannot have babies that would have loved to take her, but her mama had to throw her life away. That could have been my daughter's best friend," one funeral attendee said.
Many mothers paid their tribute to the infant while also calling for whoever was responsible to come forward.
"It’s hard to understand why someone would do it. I’m five months pregnant, and I don’t see how anybody could even think about doing something like that," another funeral attendee said.
Moline Police Chief Darren Gault recalled the case as detectives continued their search for answers years later.
"The Rock Island County coroner identified the cause of death as suffocation, asphyxiation and hypothermia," Gault said.
Former detective Scott Williams was working the day Baby April was found.
"The umbilical cord was still attached, and you could tell it looked like a sleeping baby," Williams said. "The cold water preserved the child quite a bit."
Williams told News 8 it was hard to think about even years later, as so many detectives were starting their own families at the time.
"As each new crop of detectives come in, they (were) just as determined to find out who the mother was," Williams said.
Despite a lack of technology available to test it, detectives took blood and DNA evidence from Baby April, hoping evolutions in technology would eventually help crack the case.
Twenty-two years after that spring day, Rock Island County State Attorney John McGehee announced first-degree murder charges against a DNA profile. It was the first major development since the initial crime happened in 1992.
"We're slowly corralling in, and we're encouraged by what we're going to find. This is essentially a case of science catching up with the suspect," McGehee said in 2014.
Investigators didn't have a match back then, but Baby April's DNA was sent to a lab in Texas for future comparisons.
"As technology improves, new leads improve, and we'll continue to pursue those relentlessly until justice is served," Gault said.
That's exactly what happened after the case sat cold for 28 years.
In December 2020, police announced they had made an arrest of an Ohio woman after DNA evidence pointed to her as the baby's mother.
The now-49-year-old Angela Siebke would have been about 18 and living in Orion, Illinois, at the time of the crime.
Siebke was initially charged with first-degree murder and pleading not guilty. She was headed to a jury trial until she accepted a lesser charge, pleading guilty to endangering the life of a child resulting in death and waiving her right to a trial.
Siebke has been held in the Rock Island County Jail since her 2020 arrest.