RUSSELLVILLE — Police Chief Chris Hargett said his office can only wait on outside help before it can determine if there was a baby buried in the yard of a Wilson Boulevard residence.
“It’s up to forensics at this point,” Hargett said.
Police went to the residence two weeks ago after being told an infant could be buried in the yard. Law enforcement agents collected materials from the yard and sent them to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for evaluation. Hargett said his department has not heard from forensic officials about what their testing has revealed.
“That’s all we can do right now,” police investigator Lt. Scotty Lowery said.
Authorities spent most of the day at the residence on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, sifting through dirt and other materials in their effort to determine if an infant was buried in the yard.
Hargett said his office received information indicating a woman living at the house gave birth to a baby, but the infant died a few hours later and was buried in the yard.
Lowery said a few things were found during the search.
“They could be bone or rock. We don’t know what we have, if anything,” Hargett said. “That’s what we need the lab to tell us.
“We found a person we were looking for who may have lived at that residence, but nothing materialized from questioning her. We’ve gone as far as we can.”
The search resembled an archeological dig at times. Investigators took layers of dirt, a few inches at a time, and sifted the samples as part of the search for human remains. Hargett said seven dogs, all trained to detect the scent of human remains, indicated that remains were possibly at the site.
He said members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office used ground-penetrating radar to search the area Friday.
“Where the case goes from here, that’s up to what the lab finds,” Hargett said.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.