Union County, North Carolina
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Union County, NC Sheriff Eddie Cathey has announced an arrest in the case of an infant found deceased in the yard of a residence located at 5517 Whispering Hollow Lane in Waxhaw. Erica Denise Kelly, of 1902 Walkup Avenue, Monroe, has been charged with Murder (GS 14-17) and Concealing the Birth of a Child (GS 14-46). Kelly was arrested at her place of employment this morning without incident. She is being held in the Union County Jail without bond, pending a May 6, 2009 District Court appearance.
The infant was found in the yard of the residence on Whispering Hollow Lane on February 24, 2009. The infant’s body was near a pile of burned trash. Early information from the medical examiner’s office indicated that the infant, a baby girl, had been a full-term pregnancy, and that she had been born alive. Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and the NCSBI have worked consistently on what they called their “Top Priority” case. Community sentiment surrounding the crime has been high, investigators have interviewed numerous witnesses, held information checkpoints and conducted extensive DNA testing. Detectives linked Kelly to the infant through
DNA evidence provided by her.
“We had to wait on the science, which can be frustrating at times,” said Sheriff Eddie Cathey. “Unlike ‘CSI’ and the other forensic science fantasy shows, DNA casework takes time, given the number of subjects that we had to process,” he continued. Secondary DNA testing verified the
initial lab result. Investigators then conferred with District Attorney John Snyder to apprise him of the evidence and Kelly was subsequently charged with the crime.
Investigators would not release specific information surrounding the details of the crime. “Those will come out in court,” said Sheriff Cathey. However, investigators acknowledge that the infant was born alive, and that Kelly is believed to have abandoned the infant prior to its death. Additionally, investigators will not speculate on additional arrests connected with the case. “We will not rest until all responsible parties are held accountable for this horrendous crime,” said Sheriff Cathey. “This death absolutely did not have to occur, given the “safe surrender” statutes on the books,” he continued.
Cathey praised his investigators and the efforts of the SBI. “Any time a child is victim of a heinous crime like this, it makes you that much more determined to solve the crime,” he said.
Sheriff’s personnel will be available tomorrow for camera interviews. Additional inquiries should be directed to Capt. Mike Easley at 704-283-3529.
Here is original raw footage from the initial discovery of the infants body. Video courtesy of WSOCTV.com
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