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Christiansburg police are investigating after the remains were found hidden in a closet.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Christiansburg police were continuing an investigation Wednesday after the decomposed remains of an infant were found.
The investigation was launched after the remains were found Saturday and the police had earlier received information that a woman had denied giving birth.
Police spokeswoman Becky Wilburn said the department was contacted on Sept. 27 by medical professionals at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery regarding a female patient. The patient allegedly denied that she had recently given birth, despite showing signs to the contrary, Wilburn said.
Investigators obtained a search warrant that was executed about 3:15 a.m. on Saturday at the woman’s home in the 100 block of East Street. The infant’s remains were found wrapped in a bag and hidden in a closet within the home. The remains have been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke for further evaluation.
The identity of the woman was not released by police because no charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing, Wilburn said.
According to a search warrant filed Wednesday in the county circuit court clerk’s office, the patient, identified as Melinda Sue Woolwine, went to the hospital complaining of fatigue and blood loss.
Woolwine underwent surgery, and a surgeon reported to police that her bleeding was caused by the presence of a placenta, according to the warrant.
The placenta was tested and was consistent with that of a third-term pregnancy.
Christiansburg Detective David Moye wrote in the search warrant that Woolwine “denies having knowledge of having been pregnant or having given birth.”
Moye wrote that the hospital staff advised him that a fetus born in the third trimester of pregnancy could have been a viable birth.
With that information, Moye applied for a warrant to search Woolwine’s mobile home in reference to any documents related to prenatal care, records related to a late-term abortion, medications associated with prenatal care and planning or human biological material, blood or tissue, according to the warrant.
Wilburn said that while the discovery of the remains is considered suspicious, it is unclear at this time whether foul play was involved in the infant’s death.
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