Manassas Journal Messenger | Buried newborn unearthed

A Lake Ridge man discovered a dead child behind his town house at about 7:30 Thursday night after his dog unearthed the baby from a shallow grave.

A woman staying in an acquaintance’s home gave birth and buried her purportedly stillborn baby in a grassy area behind the house two weeks ago, Prince William police said Friday.

The 19-year-old woman claims to have buried the infant out of fear, Detective Dennis Mangan said. The woman, who has not been charged, is staying with the dog’s owner and his wife at 3084 Bridgeton Court. They were unaware that she had given birth in their home, Mangan said.

It was unclear Friday what her relationship to the couple is.

Due to the body’s condition, police were unsure whether the baby was a boy or girl. The Northern Virginia Medical Examiner’s office performed an autopsy Friday morning but would not reveal the infant’s sex. Conclusions from the procedure were unavailable Friday pending test results, an office official said. She would not comment on what tests are being performed, nor any conclusions drawn during Friday’s procedure.

Police continued their evidence search Friday morning, blocking the entrance to Bridgeton Court.

They taped off a rectangular area behind the tan and brown town house that leads to the tree line adjacent to the banks of the Occoquan River.

Neighbor Charles Joe, 26, said police came to his house Thursday to ask if he had heard anything in recent days. Joe lives opposite a clearing near the makeshift grave.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert’s office will review the case to determine what charges, if any, are appropriate, police said.

Staff writer Daniel Drew can be reached at (703) 878-8065.

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