‘Remorse and grief:’ Riverside parents bury stillborn in yard, police say

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‘Remorse and grief:’ Riverside parents bury stillborn in yard, police say

The parents of Addalynn Marie George told Riverside police they buried the child in the backyard in December after she was stillborn at home, Maj. Adam Colon said Tuesday.

Authorities exhumed the Addalynn’s remains Sunday after an anonymous tip to Kettering police prompted the department to alert Riverside police about the possibility of an infant buried in the 4500 block of Richland Avenue.

Colon said the baby’s arrival was a “surprise” to the mother and that both parents expressed “remorse and grief.”

No decision is made yet on whether the parents will be criminally charged, Colon said. Even if the child was stillborn, he said, “burying a corpse and a baby in the backyard” could be “a crime in itself.”

The case is classified by Riverside police as an “abuse of corpse” investigation, the severity of which ranges from misdemeanor to felony. Abuse of corpse is defined in the Ohio criminal code as treating “a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.”

Colon said the investigation is continuing, including an examination of social media and text messages. He said the parents “haven’t indicated anything to say” the child’s death was foul play.

The parents, Colon said, have been cooperative. Riverside police are looking at reports of a Facebook post attributed to the child’s mother on Dec. 21. The post reads, “I gave birth last night to a beautiful little girl and we lost her an hour later. It hurts especially with Christmas being so close.”

Still unclear is whether the remains were of a newborn infant, stillborn child, or fetus. Answers about the baby’s death — and whether the baby was actually born — may not come for several weeks pending the coroner’s ongoing investigation.

Explanations from law enforcement as to whether the remains were fetal or newborn evolved over the first 72 hours of the case.

On Monday, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office repeatedly referred to the remains as those of a “fetus.” Asked Tuesday to again provide clarification, the coroner’s office answer changed: It is unclear and “under investigation,” the office said.

Riverside police provided a Dec. 21, 2017, date of birth for the victim, and the deceased individual’s name — Addalynn Marie George — on a police report issued Monday to the media.

Colon said the department’s use of the term “infant” in a police report and in initial communication with the media reflected his own “police jargon.” On Tuesday, he said he “can’t answer at this time” if the remains belonged to an unborn fetus or newborn baby and deferred to the coroner’s judgment.

The newspaper asked the health departments in Montgomery and Greene counties to search for birth certificates matching the child’s name and date of birth as provided by Riverside police and the coroner’s office. The searches, including that of a statewide birth database, did not locate a corresponding certificate for the child.

Riverside officers went to the Richland Avenue home around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted in exhuming the child’s remains.

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