FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Several teams are searching for an infant who was possibly buried near a home in Russellville.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said four HEMSI cadaver dogs were on the property Wednesday night, and each detected something near a burn pile in the back yard. The property in question is on Hemlock Street, just off Wilson Boulevard.
The Alabama Fire Marshal's office received a tip from an informant a baby may have been buried in the yard. Investigators have spent several hours taking layer by layer off the burn pile, sifting through it to try to detect any human remains. They have a blue tarp covering the area to shield it from public view.
Chief Hargett says teams are looking at a time period from the last few months all the way back to 2009. There is evidence a baby was born in the home, and investigators have spoken to women who lived there.
"One of them supposedly gave birth to a child in the residence," said Chief Hargett. "It was only alive for a few hours then it was buried in the yard."
They are working to interview other women who may have lived in the home in the last several years.
"It causes alarm ethically, morally. I can't see why anybody or why anybody would do that," said Hargett. "I don't think there would be any concern to the neighbors as far as dangers, but that's one reason we are doing what we're doing is to try to confirm or deny."
A man also lived there until a few weeks ago, when he died. Police are trying to determine whether his death is connected to the case.
Russellville Police, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, and the State Fire Marshal's Office are involved in the investigation.
If investigators find something in the burn pile they cannot identify, the items will be sent off for forensic testing along with other evidence from inside the home.
Hargett said if testing confirms human remains are mixed in with the ashes, detectives will speak with the Franklin County District Attorney about possible charges for any suspects identified in this case.