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Family searches for woman after infant remains found under Smithfield home

Posted April 19

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— Authorities remained tight-lipped Tuesday about the investigation into human remains found in the crawl space of a Smithfield home over the weekend.

James Morgan, who lives in the rented home with his mother, Pamela McBride, was running a cable under the house, at 102 Hartley Drive, on Saturday afternoon when he found two trash bags in the crawl space. When he checked to see what was inside one, he saw what he thought were human remains.

A Smithfield police officer and a Johnston County medical examiner later confirmed the remains of at least one infant were in one of the trash bags. Towels were wrapped around the remains, which were placed inside three trash bags, according to the application for a warrant to search the house and surrounding property.

The remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh, but no information about the case has been released.

McBride told police that her daughter, who used to live in the home, has battled drug addiction and tried to hide several pregnancies, according to the warrant application. She estimated that her daughter has been pregnant about 10 times, but she only knows what happened to three of the children – two are in her custody and a third was given up for adoption years ago.

"I don't know who would do something like that. Why? You just have to ask yourself why," neighbor Ricky Williams said.

"They are good neighbors. They are good people. I don't have anything bad to say about them," neighbor Melvin Young said of McBride and her son.

McBride said she has no idea where her daughter is, and Smithfield police declined to comment on the case.

During their search of the home, police seized several Johnston County Department of Social Services letters addressed to the daughter, but agency officials declined to comment about any dealings with her, citing privacy regulations.


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