CONWAY — Jennifer Sahr, the Florida woman accused of giving birth to a baby boy and leaving him to die in a box in a wooded area outside of Conway more than a decade ago is scheduled to go on trial the week of Oct. 10.
Currently out on bond and charged with one count of homicide by child abuse, Sahr could face life in prison if convicted in a case where authorities at the onset could not determine the parents of the newborn who was found off S.C. Highway 544 in 2008 and later named “Baby Boy Horry.”
Local authorities investigated the cold case for over a decade before announcing that scientific evidence provided them with a new lead in the case, resulting in the March 2020 arrest of Sahr by federal marshals in the North Myrtle Beach area.
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed at the time that Sahr was the boy’s biological mother from a supplied DNA sample, according to Horry County authorities.
Sahr is also the mother of two living children.
Police said that in December 2008, when at the time Sahr was named Jennifer Rickel and studied at Coastal Carolina University, utility workers found a box in a wooded area off the highway. Inside they found the body of the infant child who authorities said was alive and viable when he was placed in the box and discarded in the cold, according to arrest warrants.
Sahr was initially denied bond but during a March 2020 hearing was granted a $75,000 surety bond, according to court records. Her bond stipulations were on the condition she surrender her passport and remain on house arrest at her home in Pensacola, Fla.
A June 2020 preliminary criminal hearing was scheduled, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baby Boy Horry is buried at Hillcrest Cemetery near Coastal Carolina University where a memorial headstone was erected in his honor.
“Over the last 12 years, the Horry County community has demonstrated a commitment to keeping the memory of Baby Boy Horry alive,” police said in a statement after the Sahr’s 2020 arrest. “It is our sincere hope that this new development will bring the community and all who have been touched by this case some sense of peace.”
A state law, the South Carolina Safe Haven for Abandoned Babies Act or Daniel’s Law, grants immunity to people who safely surrender infants up to 2 months old. The children can be left at hospitals, fire departments, law enforcement agencies or staffed places of worship. The state Department of Social Services then places them in foster homes.
There have been four newborns surrendered this year as of July 11, according to the organization’s website.
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