How Long Had Infant Remains Been Under Smithfield Home?

On Tuesday, Smithfield Police declined to release any new information about their ongoing investigation into the apparent remains of an infant found under a home in West Smithfield.

Two plastic trash bags were found Saturday afternoon under the home by a man running a cable in the crawl space. The bags were found near the crawlspace door.  Once opening the bags, he saw what appeared to human remains and contacted police.  According to a search warrant, obtained by WTSB News, for the home at 102 Hartley Drive, police said the two bags contained what appeared to be the remains of an unknown age infant wrapped in towels.

A medical examiner responded to the scene and the remains were transported to the NC Medical Examiners Office for further examination, including an attempt to determine the cause of death.

Around 5:00 PM Saturday, police responded to the address, being leased by Pamela McBridge and her son, James Morgan. Morgan was running a cable under the house when he discovered the remains, according to a search warrant.

Street-Sign-HartleyMcBridge told police she had a daughter who had battled drug addiction her entire adult life, including cocaine and methamphetamines. She told officers her daughter had lived with her “off and on” throughout her life.   She said she had custody of two of her grandchildren, ages 8 months and 7 years-old.

McBridge, according to the affidavit, said her daughter had been “obviously pregnant” in the past but would deny being pregnant and would wear oversize hoodie sweatshirts, even in the summer, to conceal a pregnancy.  She alleged her daughter would leave for several weeks at a time.  When she would return, the search warrant said the woman had delivered the baby “but made no mention of where the baby was.”

She estimated her daughter had been pregnant “about 10 times that she knows of.”  However, she only knows the whereabouts of 3 of the children.

McBridge told officers of two specific incidents where her daughter allegedly delivered a child yet did not know what happened to the child.  One unanswered question is how long the remains had been under the home.

McBridge reported of one incident, around 2005, when her pregnant daughter had allegedly locked herself in a bathroom for several hours and later a blood trail was discovered between the bathroom and a bedroom. No one ever knew what happened to the infant, she reportedly told police.

In a prepared statement, Smithfield Police said no official findings have been determined as to the contents of the bags and the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to contact Detective Sgt. R.D. Wood at 919-989-1069 or the Smithfield Police Tip Line at 919-989-8835.