North Carolina authorities have charged a couple with felony concealment of death after a newborn baby boy delivered in a college dorm room was found dead in a shallow grave, WXII-TV reports.
Olivia Billington, 21, and Alex Best, 19, are the presumed parents of the infant, whose remains were discovered last month behind Best’s home.
Investigators believe that Billington gave birth to the child on September 4 in her dorm room at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.
Neither Billington nor Best attempted to find medical care for the newborn and the baby later died, according to the television station. It is not clear whether the baby died of natural or other causes, and the official cause of death has been ruled inconclusive.
Best allegedly brought the baby’s body to his home, put it in a box with blankets, and buried it in a shallow grave on his property.
The High Point Police Department and Iredell County Sheriff’s Office were later notified of a possible body that had been buried behind Best’s residence, according to a news release from the police department. Upon investigation, authorities took a large plastic box into evidence, WXII-TV reports.
Best was arrested on September 15 and Billington turned herself in to police on October 1; both have cooperated with investigators,
Members of the community told WBTV they were saddened by the death.
“That’s just such a travesty. It’s just heartbreaking, it truly is, for the child and for the folk involved in it,” one man told the television station.
North Carolina law defines the crime of felony concealment of death as: “Any person who, with the intent to conceal the death of a person, fails to notify a law enforcement authority of the death or secretly buries or otherwise secretly disposes of a dead human body is guilty . . . Any person who, with the intent to conceal the death of a child, fails to notify a law enforcement authority of the death or secretly buries or otherwise secretly disposes of a dead child’s body is guilty of a Class H felony.”
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