UPDATE: Investigators trying to rule out foul play after fetal remains found in Mercer County

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Monday, April 27, 2020 10:05 p.m. UPDATE: BLUEWELL, WV (WVNS) — A disturbing discovery, but what is the crime?

On Friday, April 24, 2020 state police were dispatched to Bluewell,WV where they found remains of a fetus buried in a shallow grave. The fetus was approximately 19 weeks.

Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler said it appears to have been a still birth. The remains were left in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle for around a year, found, and then buried.

“I asked that officers subpoena the medical records relating to the birth of this stillborn child to verify that it was not the result of some sort of foul play or criminal act,” said Sitler.

According to Sitler, if there is a criminal offense it might have to do with improper disposal of biological material. Sitler said in some cases, a fetus can be a separate and distinct victim for certain violent crimes.

BLUEWELL, WV (WVNS) – Sunday, April 26, 2020 4:11 p.m. ORIGINAL: State Police are investigating after the remains of a fetus were found this weekend.

On Friday, April 24, 2020, State Police at the Princeton Detachment were contacted in reference to possible human remains. This investigation led troopers to the Bluewell area of Mercer County, where they found fetal remains buried in a shallow grave.

Further investigation indicated that the remains had been left in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle for approximately one year, and were then found and later buried improperly.

Troopers found evidence that the remains were of an approximately 19 week fetus which had died of natural causes, and no foul play is suspected in the death.

The investigation is ongoing as to improper disposition of human remains. Due to the sensitive nature of this case, no names will be released. 

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