Local News

Bond Doubled For Harnett County Woman Charged With Baby's Death

Posted July 15, 2002

— Bond has doubled for a 19-year-old woman charged with murdering her newborn son. Plus, authorities are trying to figure out whether someone may have assisted the Harnett County woman in the death of her baby.

Sophia Whitley, 19, is now being charged with felony child abuse in addition to first-degree murder. Authorities said the district attorney decided to pursue the additional charge, but they will not say why. Whitley's bond is now doubled to $100,000.

On Saturday, authorities said Whitley had a baby and then placed him in a garbage bag and put him in the trunk of her car.

According to an affadavit released Thursday, Whitley tried to leave her house Saturday night, but she was blocked in the driveway by "a concerned citizen." The affadavit also states that Whitley's 14-year-old sister, Lacy, observed and assisted Sophia put a black, plastic trash bag into her car.

Police are also looking to Whitley's former boyfriend for information. Court papers say they split up two weeks before she gave birth. Court papers say Whitley "was very distraught over the break-up."

Right now, authorities do not know who the baby's father is, and police say Whitley's former boyfriend is not talking. Authorities said Whitley's former boyfriend and Whitley's family have hired attorneys.

"Now, once people start refusing to talk we wonder if we have witnesses or do we have other suspects," said Erwin police chief Tom Chandler.

Authorities also executed a search warrant at Whitley's home on Thursday and seized a computer. Authorities said they want to see if Whitley sent any e-mails about her pregnancy or what she wanted to do with the child.

Whitley is still being held in the Harnett County jail.


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