The Julie Valentine Case is Finally Solved

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The Julie Valentine Case is Finally Solved

The grave of Julie Valentine, decorated with gifts of remembrance.

The grave of Julie Valentine, decorated with gifts of remembrance.

The grave of Julie Valentine, decorated with gifts of remembrance.

The grave of Julie Valentine, decorated with gifts of remembrance.

River Herron, Staff Reporter

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The Greenville Police Department released on March 28th, 2019 that they had made an arrest in the name of the Julie Valentine case. On Valentine’s Day of 1990, a man picking flowers for his wife found the deceased body of an abandoned infant girl inside a vacuum cleaner box wrapped in a floral sheet. Law enforcement named the infant Julie, which later influenced the name for The Julie Valentine Center, a non-profit organization that has been helping survivors of child abuse since 2005. The baby girl was a few days old and was left by her mother only two days after her birth. “This is the complicated nature of child abuse, the wondering of what life could have been like, if only,” Shauna Williams, executive director of the Julie Valentine Center Organization said during a press conference announcing the arrest. When asked about his thoughts on the case, Junior Cason Whitmire says, “That’s one of the worst things you can do in life, it’s sickening to think that someone could ever do anything like that.”

After more than twenty-nine years of investigation, the mother of the infant has been finally been found. The police ran through Sears transaction histories to see who could have bought the specific vacuum model that Julie was found in, and a woman named Brook Graham and her husband were interviewed. As time went by, Graham became a prime suspect in the Julie Valentine case, yet she declined to speak with authorities or give a DNA sample and demanded an attorney. Police used DNA and genealogy tracing to find out who the father was, who turned out to be Graham’s husband. The father claims he had no knowledge of Graham’s pregnancy, telling authorities that the two split apart in 1997. The story of Julie Valentine has fueled the campaign against child abuse and influenced a heart-shaped statue in Cleveland Park in memory of her.