SBI and Leland Police place evidence into a hearse - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Investigators say fetus is that of a miscarriage

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Investigators have closed a case involving the discovery of a fetus in a Leland back yard.

The Leland Police Department said in a press release that no charges will be filed in relation to the case.

According to the medical examiner's office, the evidence discovered was determined to be an unviable fetus.  They say this is an unfortunate case of a miscarriage that was not medically attended, and the unviable fetus was not properly handled.

"Any time that you have a case involving something like this, it pulls at the heartstrings of the community and the officers working the case," said Jayne.

The SBI, Leland Police, and rescue units were investigating a home on Maplewood Court in Leland Wednesday.

WECT has exclusive video of police bringing out the remains of a fetus wrapped in a white sheet that was placed in the back of a hearse. Investigators were also seen leaving the house with two large crates.

Police say they acted on a tip from someone in the community and uncovered the fetus in the back yard.

Julia Keel, who lives next door to the home of the investigation, said her neighbor had mention that his wife had a miscarriage over the weekend but though the couple had gone to the hospital.

Investigators waited on autopsy results to determine what went wrong.

"The police aren't trained to make those determinations and it would take a qualified medical pathologist to examine the evidence that we've collected and then tell us and the district attorney what charges, if any are applicable in this case," said Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne.

"It's hard," said Keel.  "I'm so sorry that they lost their child. They should have done something better than what they did if that's what happened. If there's a will, there's a way for anything."

Police would not release the names of the parents. 

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