Almost 35 years after the disfigured remains of a 5-year-old girl were found in rural Georgia, investigators have identified the victim and arrested her mother and her mother’s live-in boyfriend, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Monday in a news release.
The remains of Kenyatta “KeKe” Odom, known for decades only as Baby Jane Doe, were found by road workers inside an old television cabinet and encased in concrete near Millwood in Ware County on Dec. 21, 1988, authorities said.
Kenyatta’s mother, 56-year-old Evelyn Odom, and 61-year-old Ulyster Sanders, who is believed to have been her live-in boyfriend in 1988, were arrested Thursday. Both were living in Albany, Georgia, and both were charged with murder and aggravated battery, among other counts.
According to an indictment obtained by HuffPost, Odom and Sanders submerged parts of Kenyatta’s body in hot water, killing the girl and disfiguring her legs and feet. Then they dumped her body in an “undeveloped location” to hide it, according to the indictment.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, GBI Special Agent in Charge Jason Seacrist said Kenyatta’s remains were found wrapped in a blanket, stuffed in a duffel bag and encased in concrete inside the TV cabinet.
Medical examiners at the time declared the death a homicide but could not determine the cause of death or find evidence that would point to suspects, police said.
For decades, investigators attempted to identify Kenyatta’s remains through media coverage and forensic testing available at the time. In 2022, they received a tip from the public after a news story aired about the anniversary of the child’s death.
According to Seacrist, the tipster said she thought she could identify the victim and a suspect, Odom, who’d claimed that Kenyatta had gone to live with her father.
According to court records reviewed by HuffPost, both Odom and Sanders do not have an attorney listed for them, and its unclear when they’re next scheduled to appear in court.