Monday, February 17 2014 3:39 PM EST2014-02-17 20:39:57 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Millington police are investigating a homicide at Jones Orchard Sunday. According to investigators, the victim is a baby. Police are working at the orchard on Singleton Parkway. Action NewsMore >
Millington investigators contacted Memphis Police Department crime scene investigators knowing they had been working a missing baby case since early January. More >
Monday, February 17 2014 3:31 PM EST2014-02-17 20:31:59 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Andrea Walker, the mother of the baby girl who went missing January 9, was arrested Monday morning. According to her defense attorney, Leslie Ballin, Walker surrendered herself to authorities. AnistonMore >
Andrea Walker, the mother of the baby girl who went missing January 9, was arrested Monday morning. She is now officially charged with first-degree murder.
Her surrender comes less than 24 hours after the body of a baby, younger than 1 year old, was found in a Millington ditch Sunday afternoon.More >
(WMC-TV) - Police confirmed Monday that Aniston Walker, who went missing on January 9, is the baby found dead in a ditch by a motorcyclist. She was just 7 weeks old at the time of her disappearance.
According to Memphis Police Department, the body was found at 12:16 p.m. Sunday a few feet from a culvert. The physical description and clothing matched those of baby Aniston. Millington police immediately contacted MPD investigators, who determined the baby's identity.
"I would say that it seems like the body has been there for some time," Millington Police Chief Rita Stanback said after the body was discovered. "It's less than a year old, wearing a onsie."
Aniston's mother, Andrea Walker, 33, is charged with first-degree murder. She surrendered herself to authorities Monday morning, according to her defense attorney, Leslie Ballin.
When Aniston's father first reported her missing, Andrea told police she had left the baby home with a 3-year-old as she dropped her 5-year-old son off at school. When she returned, she said Aniston was gone.
Following that report, Andrea was arrested on aggravated child abuse and neglect charges. She was released from jail on February 6 after posting bond.
Investigators wanted to interview Andrea Walker Monday morning, but she declined.
"At this time, she's not going to make that statement. At the appropriate time, once our investigation has progressed some, she will decide at her trial or at any hearings in the future if it's appropriate for her to make a statement," said Ballin.
The discovery of Aniston's body ends a search that lasted more than one month.
"You know, this is a trying scene for everybody," said Stanback. "I'm a grandmother myself and this is something that is very difficult to deal with."
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong credited investigators for their long hours of work on this case, adding:
"It is heartbreaking to confirm that an innocent child's life has been taken, but now family members of Aniston Walker can have closure and begin the healing process of losing a loved one."
Action News 5 talked with the motorcycle rider who found baby Aniston's body. He stopped by Jones Orchard to wait for friends Sunday afternoon on Singleton Parkway.
He was emotional and said it was very disturbing to find the baby's body. He did not want to talk on camera.
The infant's body was found about 11 miles from Walker's home. Investigators say Aniston's body lying face down in the ditch showed signs of having been in there for quite some time.
Strangers dropped off teddy bears and flowers at the site.