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DNA cold case: Ex-daycare worker charged with slitting newborn son’s throat 30 years ago

HUGO, Okla. — Oklahoma authorities have charged a former daycare worker in the 1993 death of her newborn son, whose throat she allegedly slit before she dumped his body in a rural Choctaw County yard.

Meaonia Michelle Allen, 53, of Durant, is charged with first-degree murder with deliberate intent. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation officials said Allen turned herself in Friday to face the charge.

OSBI investigators identified Allen as the boy’s mother with help from Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia-based genetic genealogy company that works with law enforcement agencies to solve cold cases across the country.

“The synergy between our agents and criminalists to solve cold cases, especially those with an unidentified victim, is to be applauded,” OSBI Director Ricky Adams said in a statement. “Identifying the use of genetic genealogy as a tool, and the work of Parabon and our internal genealogy specialist, provided significant leads in this disturbing case.

“Baby Doe can now be properly laid to rest, and his killer will be held accountable.”

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The case began Dec. 8, 1993, when Allen’s boss, Valoree Brock, found the lifeless body of a baby boy in her backyard in Hugo and called authorities. Choctaw County Sheriff’s Office investigators brought in OSBI agents to help with the case.

“The Office of the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy on Baby Doe,” OSBI officials said. “The ME determined Baby Doe was born alive, and the manner of death was homicide as a result of his throat being slashed.”

Agents conducted numerous interviews in the aftermath of the baby’s death, including interviewing Allen, who was then 25 years old. Allen was working for Brock and dating Brock’s son.

Despite the investigation, no suspects in the homicide were identified. The case went cold, but investigators retained samples of the boy’s DNA for future use.

That opportunity came in October 2020, when the OSBI special agent assigned to the Baby Doe case met with the agency’s cold case unit, as well as criminalists in the biology unit at the OSBI Forensic Science Center.

Together, they submitted Baby Doe’s DNA to Parabon Nanolabs.

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“In April 2021, the results from Parabon were reviewed by the OSBI team, and investigative leads as a result of the test results were pursued,” authorities said. “Earlier this month, additional DNA testing resulted in Allen being identified as the baby boy’s mother.”

An OSBI special agent met with Allen on June 15 at the Durant Police Department. During the interview, Allen agreed to submitted samples of her DNA to be tested to determine if she was the biological mother of Baby Doe.

About 20 minutes after that initial interview ended, Allen called the agent and admitted the baby was her son, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Oklahoman.

The court document states that Allen told investigators she had never told anyone she was pregnant. She said she went into labor unexpectedly at Brock’s home and gave birth in a barn on the property.

She initially claimed that her son had been stillborn. A few days later, in a follow-up interview, Allen was shown the baby’s autopsy report, the agent wrote.

At that point, Allen allegedly confessed to cutting the boy’s throat.

“After reviewing the document, Allen provided information that she had become pregnant and did not tell anyone of the pregnancy, including her parents or current boyfriend,” the agent wrote in the affidavit. “She intended to have Baby Doe at the hospital and put it up for adoption after its birth.”

That never happened.

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On Dec. 7, 1993, Allen had spent the night at Brock’s home, along with her boyfriend, his son and her daughter.

“During the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 1993, she had a physical altercation which caused her to go into labor,” the affidavit states, according to the newspaper. “Allen went to a barn on the property and gave birth to Baby Doe.”

It was unclear if Allen told the agent what she used to kill her son, but she said she carried the child to the house after his birth and laid him on a couch outside.

“She retrieved ‘it’ (the weapon) from the house,” the agent wrote. “She then carried the baby behind the well house and cut Baby Doe’s throat.”

Later that morning, Brock noticed what she thought was a doll in her backyard. When she walked outside to retrieve the toy, she realized it was a newborn baby.

Investigators learned that Allen had spent the night at Brock’s home, so they interviewed her on Dec. 17, nine days after the homicide, the Oklahoman reported. She told detectives she had never seen a pregnant woman at the house.

Allen is being held without bond in the Choctaw County Jail.

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