Parents charged with murder after baby found buried in backyard

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:51 AM MDT
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ERWIN, N.C. (WRAL) - A North Carolina couple is being charged with the murder of their baby after the child was found buried in a backyard.

Dustin Vandyke, 28, and Gracie Riddle, 18, are being charged with first-degree murder.

“Anytime you’re dealing with a death or homicide, it’s sad for everyone involved,” Erwin Police Chief Jonathan Johnson said.

Friday night, police in Erwin, North Carolina, got a tip about an unreported death on Moulton Spring Road.

After interviewing several people in the area, police were able to get a search warrant on the property. With the use of cadaver K-9s, they located an infant buried in the backyard.

“This person, and I’m sure there’s other people with knowledge of the incident through word of mouth or whatever, I think this person just finally got to a point where their conscious got to them and they decided they needed to talk about it and tell someone. And that’s how we initially got the report,” Johnson said.

The gender of the baby is unknown at this time and the death does not appear to be accidental.

“You just never know what somebody is going through or why somebody would do the things they do. You just have to be vigilant and report anything suspicious,” Johnson said.

Officials are waiting on autopsy results for a cause of death.

Johnson says this is an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public.