Charges to be filed after baby found buried in NC backyard

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LOUISBURG, N.C. — The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday charges will be filed against one person after a newborn was found buried in a backyard late Sunday night.

An investigator told WTVD-TV the baby’s 16-year-old mom is now cooperating and he spoke with her Tuesday.

“She was emotional..but like I say it is still under investigation,” said Capt. E.H. Smith, with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the investigation started with a tip they received Sunday about a childbirth that was being concealed. A few hours after questioning the parents of a 16-year-old girl, her father called the sheriff’s office saying he found the body of a full-term 8.5 pound baby girl wrapped in a brown bag and buried in a shallow grave behind their house in the Fox Ridge subdivision.

Sheriff Jerry Jones told ABC11 while the teen lives at the home with her parents; she was able to conceal the pregnancy from them. Jones said the baby’s father, who is only being identified as a young man, knew of the pregnancy and is cooperating with the investigation.

Early Tuesday, Sheriff Jones had a plea for others who find themselves in a similar situation.

“Maybe someone else is in this situation and if they are, we would like for them to try to do what’s right,” said Sheriff Jones. “Seek out some help from a counselor or someone talks to someone about adoption or find a safe haven, because if this child was born alive then we’ve got a serious situation. It would’ve been a lot easier to get help from somewhere.”

Right now, the sheriff’s office is waiting on autopsy results to file charges.

“I talked with the medical examiner’s office [Wednesday] morning and at this time, it’s in the DA’s hands,” Capt. Smith said.

A rush was requested on the autopsy, but the medical examiner’s office is working through a backlog. The sheriff’s office says this is the first time they have ever investigated a case like this in the county.

“Of course, I’ve got children. I’ve got grandchildren myself. It’s hard but I can’t get too emotional in it,” Capt. Smith said.

The sheriff’s office could get the autopsy Thursday.

Originally ABC11 was told the teenage mother was at work Sunday when deputies came to her house. Sheriff Jones said Tuesday she was not working at the time; that night investigators encouraged her to seek medical treatment at WakeMed. She has since been released from the hospital.