Antoinette Prielly, 41, from the Netherlands, Michigan, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Dart said Brillie was arrested on Thursday in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
At a hearing on Saturday, Brillie was appointed as the public defender to represent her and bail was set at $ 150,000, according to the sheriff’s administration.
The case began on June 6, 2003, when a waste management employee emptying litter boxes in an alley in Stickney, Illinois, saw the bodies of boys in the front-lift bucket of a garbage truck.
Dart said in a press release that an autopsy showed that the children were born alive and died by suffocation. The deaths were sentenced murders.
Despite extensive investigation at the time, the case remained unresolved.
Investigators reopened the case in 2018, using DNA recovered at the scene and the latest developments in genetic genealogy. The sheriff’s office said the effort led to a breakthrough that allowed investigators to identify Prieley as the potential mother of the victims.
Dart said the investigators traveled to the Netherlands, Michigan, and obtained a discarded component that carried Briley DNA, which was identical to that of the boys’ DNA.
“Seventeen years ago, we wouldn’t have presented this case this way,” Leo Schmitz, head of public security in the sheriff’s department, said at a news conference on Saturday.
Investigators learned Thursday that Prielly was in Cook County and had stopped traffic to take her into custody.
Sean Gleeson, deputy chief of detective at the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, said that Prieley was “in a daze” when she was arrested. He said that Prieley, who has a daughter, was previously arrested for misdemeanor but not for any other crimes.
CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Finlay Fox contributed to this report.