Parents Charged With Murder After Baby Found Buried In Backyard — But There’s A Truly Shocking Twist!
A North Carolina couple is facing murder charges after the remains of their baby were reportedly found buried on their property.
Police in the eastern North Carolina city of Erwin acted on a tip from a local resident on Friday night about a dead infant buried in the backyard of a home there. Alarmed, police quickly obtained a search warrant for the property in question and brought cadaver dogs to the scene to investigate.
Once there, they found the remains of an infant behind the home of 28-year-old Dustin VanDyke and 18-year-old Gracie Riddle. The couple (pictured above in their mugshots) has since been charged with murder.
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According to WRAL, cops haven’t revealed any details about the infant’s identity, exact age, or gender. However, they do believe that the baby has been dead since “approximately Thanksgiving of 2021,” according to the news outlet. The report further alleges that early observations at the scene indicated to police “the death does not appear to be accidental.”
Now, cops are awaiting the results of an autopsy on the child’s remains.
Over the weekend, Erwin Police Chief Jonathan Johnson spoke to the TV news station about the investigation. He indicated that the tragedy is believed to be an isolated incident, and the public should not be concerned about other crimes. However, he also explained that a family member of the couple knew about what had happened for some time and finally came forward late last week — hence the tip.
The chief explained:
“I think this person just finally got to the point to where their conscience got to him and they decided they needed to talk about it and tell someone and that’s how we initially got the report.”
“Anytime you’re dealing with a death or homicide, it’s sad for everyone involved.”
Such a sad situation indeed.
Speaking of family, here’s where things get even more shocking: on Monday night, WRAL spoke to the family of the accused about the allegations. While the grieving family members declined to comment on the investigation on camera, they “confirmed” with the news station “that Riddle and VanDyke are cousins.”
The age difference was already eyebrow-raising at the very least, considering Riddle would have had to have been pretty young when the infant was conceived. But now you’re telling us VanDyke is a family member? Oof.
Now, the accused cousins are both being held without bond at Harnett County Detention Center on the first-degree murder charges. On Monday, they went before a judge in their first virtual courtroom appearances on the accusations.
Here is more on the sad story (below):
Such an awful situation. That poor baby.
May justice be done…
[Image via WRAL/YouTube/Erwin Police Department]