Woman enters plea deal, pleads guilty to child neglect in Julie Valentine case

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:22 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A mother who left her newborn baby on the side of a Greenville road is entering a plea arrangement.

The solicitor’s office confirmed Brooke Graham pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect of a child and one count of desecration of human remains.

She is currently awaiting sentencing for those charges.

In February 1990, a newborn baby girl was found dead in a Kenmore vacuum cleaner box in a field off the road now named Verdae Boulevard. Greenville Police gave her the name Julie Valentine.

An autopsy result indicated the baby had been born alive and may have lived several days before her body was found.

The mother, Graham, was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse in April 2019 after police tracked down the father through DNA.

Fox Carolina spoke with Parabon Nanolabs as they explained how they work with law enforcement.

“We work with law enforcement agencies who typically have DNA from a crime scene,” said Ellen Greytak. “They’ve run it though the national and state databases and haven’t gotten a hit. What we’re trying to do is generate new leads from that database so when it doesn’t hit in a database we can still analyze it and tell investigators something new about that person.”

The solicitor’s office said the murder charge was dropped because of a lack of evidence in the case.

“I do believe the murder was never one that they could make,” said David Braghirol, attorney for Brooke Graham. “Unfortunately I believe they got excited and overcharged and I believe solicitor indicates there was not enough evidence of any live birth much less a murder.”

After news spread about baby Julie, police learned about another baby, a boy, who was found dumped with almost the same details in 1989. Police performed a DNA test and confirmed Graham was also the mother of this baby.

The Julie Valentine case rocked the city and the name is now known as a symbol for child abuse prevention in Greenville County.