Rock Hill Woman Arrested In 29-Year-Old ‘Angel Hope’ Infant Cold Case

YORK COUNTY, SC — A Rock Hill woman has been arrested in a 29-year-old cold case involving the death of an infant, officials said Tuesday.

According to deputies, 48-year-old Stacy Rabon was charged with homicide by child abuse for the death of a baby in 1992 that was found floating in the Catawba River between Rock Hill and Fort Mill.

The infant was found on August 12, 1992 and was confirmed to only be hours old when she died. The baby was found wrapped in a bed sheet, inside of a plastic shopping bag, floating in the Catawba River by a swimmer near the Highway 21 Bridge.

The baby had stab wounds, but the coroner’s report determined that death was the result of suffocation, and not drowning or the stabbings.

Detectives were able to reexamine the case in October 2020 which included submitting the DNA from the bed sheet that held the baby to the York County Forensic Biology Lab for testing. Results from this DNA testing identified Rabon as a suspect and deputies were eventually able to obtain a warrant for her arrest for homicide by child abuse, according to deputies.

“I am very thankful for the hard work of our detectives and DNA analysts. Their dedication and ability to work cooperatively has led to the closure of a case that has haunted our community for years,” said Sheriff Kevin Tolson. “While nothing can right this terrible wrong, there is some comfort in knowing that justice will be served thanks to the men and women who worked on this case.”

In 1992 the baby was named Angel Hope, rather than Baby Jane Doe, by members of the community who also paid for her burial expenses. Angel Hope is buried at the Forest Hills Cemetery, Section 4, in Rock Hill, SC.

Rabon is being held at the York County Detention Center.