RUSSELLVILLE — Police have learned that evidence unearthed at a Wilson Boulevard home earlier this year did not contain the remains of a baby, as they had been led to believe.
Police received the report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
“We had to investigate to see if the information we had was viable or not,” Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said Thursday.
He said his office had been waiting on the report since early February.
“We did all we could and that was to collect the evidence we found at the scene and turn it over to forensics,” Russellville police investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said.
Police went to the residence after they were told an infant could have been buried in the yard. Authorities spent most of the day at the residence on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, sifting through dirt and other materials.
Hargett said his office received information indicating a woman living at the house gave birth, but that the infant died a few hours later and was buried in the yard. Police have not located the woman or a witness who can substantiate the information.
Lowery said a few things were found during the search.
“We didn’t know if they were bone or rock,” he said at the time. “That’s why they were sent to the lab.”
He said authorities “didn’t have any choice but to conduct the investigation” and see where it would lead.
“We did all we could and we didn’t find anything to fit the information we had,” Hargett said.
At times, the search resembled an archeological dig as investigators took layers of dirt, a few inches at a time, and sifted the samples looking for human remains.
Hargett said seven dogs, all trained to detect the scent of human remains, indicated remains possibly were at the site. He said members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office used ground-penetrating radar to search the area.
“We put in a lot of time and effort but I’m glad it turned out to be nothing,” he said.
“We can close the case for now, unless something new comes up. If it does, we’ll follow up on it.”
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.