Skip to Content

Suburban Family Life: ‘Baby Mary’ Mother Found After 40 Years, Living Amongst Community

Forty years after abandoning her newborn in a wooded area on Christmas Eve, Mary Catherine Snyder Crumlich was leading a suburban life in South Carolina with her husband and sons, as depicted on social media.

Recently, 57-year-old Crumlich was sentenced to a year in prison for manslaughter in the death of the infant known as “Baby Mary” by the Mendham Township Police, following a lengthy investigation by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mendham Township Police Chief Ross Johnson revealed to Fox News Digital that a DNA profile was established for the baby girl in 2014, and diligent police work eventually led to solving the case.

At the age of 17, Crumlich left the newborn, still connected by the umbilical cord, wrapped in a towel inside a plastic bag. Two young boys playing in a stream discovered the infant and reported it to the authorities. The coroner’s findings indicated that the child had passed away before being placed in the bag.

The identity of the baby girl remained unknown, but she was baptized by Reverend Michael Drury at St. Joseph Church, and a yearly memorial service was held at her gravesite on Christmas Eve, ensuring she was not forgotten.

The Mendham Township Police Department chaplain, Reverend Michael Drury, named the unidentified infant “Mary” and conducted her baptism. An annual memorial ceremony took place at her burial site on Christmas Eve to honor her memory.

Following the establishment of a DNA profile for the child, the case was reopened by the authorities. Through the assistance of a genealogist, detectives focused on families residing in the vicinity with daughters aged between 16 and 19, matching the girl’s racial and ethnic backgrounds.

After pursuing numerous leads and theories, investigators eventually identified a match for Baby Mary’s DNA in a local man who had tragically taken his own life years earlier. There was no indication that he was aware of his connection to the child.

Mary Snyder Crumlich, 57, had relocated from Mendham Township, N.J., to South Carolina, where she resided with her family before being apprehended for the manslaughter of her newborn daughter on Christmas Eve in 1984.

Despite the closure brought by Crumlich’s conviction, Mendham Township Police Chief Ross Johnson expressed lingering questions and a hope for further disclosure from Crumlich in the future.