Woman arrested in ‘Baby Daniel’ cold case murder from 2003, police say

Crime

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake Police say a woman has been arrested in a 2003 murder cold case involving an infant known as “Baby Daniel.”

Melissa Chrisman, 41, was charged with felony murder and felony child abuse and neglect on Tuesday.

She is due in court Wednesday morning.

Police identified her in a video on the City of Chesapeake’s social media Tuesday. Investigators say forensic testing led to Chrisman’s arrest, but did not say what her relation or connection to Baby Daniel is.

Baby Daniel was found Jan. 17, 2003 abandoned and deceased in Western Branch Park. The discovery was made by an 11-year-old boy. Daniel was found frozen to death, according to WAVY News archives.

He was wearing an oversized diaper and wrapped in two blankets.

He had his umbilical cord still attached.

10 On Your Side reached out to Chesapeake Police to confirm the spelling of the woman’s first and last name, but had not heard back as of 3:42 p.m.

Deputy Truitt with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office said Chrisman is in the custody of the sheriff’s office.

Since 2003, many in the community never gave up hope that justice for the infant would come.

“When I heard, I wanted to come out here. I just knelt down and prayed and gave thanks to God,” said Paul Garrity, a Western Branch resident. “Hopefully there’s closure.”

Those with information on any unsolved case should call the investigations unit at 757-382-6251. To remain anonymous, call the Chesapeake Crime Line at 1-888-562-5887.

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