Pinedale woman charged in Michigan murder heads to trial

Updated mugshot of Nancy A. Gerwatowski courtesy of Mackinac County, Michigan Sheriff's Office.

MACKINAC COUNTY, Mich. — The quarter-century-old cold case of a Pinedale woman accused of killing her newborn infant and leaving the baby’s remains in a vault toilet at a campground in Mackinac County, Michigan, will head to trial. On Aug. 9, Nancy Ann Gerwatowski, 58, appeared before a Michigan judge, who determined enough evidence exists to go to trial.

The discovery of “Baby Garnet” by a sanitation worker at the Garnet Lake Campground in 1997 shook the small Michigan community of 11,000 people. Area residents raised money and held a funeral for the infant in September 1997. Gerwatowski would have been about 34 years old at the time.

Gerwatowski was arrested in late July on a Homicide - Open Murder warrant. She was extradited on July 30 from her home in Sublette County, Wyo. back to where the alleged crime occurred, by the Michigan State Police 7th District Fugitive Team. The following Sunday morning, she was arraigned by video in the Mackinac County 92nd District Court on a single count of felony homicide and denied bond.

Mackinac County Sheriff Edward Wilk expressed his appreciation for Identifinders International, LLC in an August press release for “their hard work and diligence to help solve this case by identifying the perpetrator and bringing criminal charges.”

Sheriff Wilk explained that investigators used forensic genetic genealogy to link Gerwatowski to the infant. Gerwatowski reportedly confirmed she was the child’s biological mother and offered “additional statements that provided probable cause to arrest her on the charge of Homicide - Open Murder.”

As reported, a portion of an autopsy conducted on the infant’s remains in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 25 years ago revealed the infant had gestated for at least 38 weeks and was near full-term and conceived in September 1996. Nothing in the public record indicates whether “Baby Garnet” was stillborn or what caused her death.

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