Cops Arrest Parents of Baby Found Dead in Trash in 1991

Infant boy suffered blunt force trauma, asphyxiation: authorities
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2021 11:25 AM CDT
Cops Arrest Parents of Baby Found Dead in Trash in 1991
Robin Lynn Byrum, left, and Scott Gordon Poole.   (Nags Head Police Department)

(Newser) – North Carolina police say they've arrested the parents of an infant found dead in a trash can rack some 30 years ago. It was April 4, 1991, that the decomposed remains of an infant boy were discovered in Nags Head in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Authorities determined the infant had died some two months earlier of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation, per WTKR. Officers spent three decades "trying to evaluate evidence to see if there was anything there that could be used to track down the parents of this baby" before a break came, Police Chief Phil Webster tells the outlet.

In 2019, authorities sent one of the infant's rib bones to private genome-sequencing lab Othram, which has helped crack other cold cases. DNA recovered from the bone was used in a genealogical search, which led to a married Taylorsville couple: Scott Gordon Poole, 54, and Robin Lynn Byrum, 51. Byrum was reportedly living in the Outer Banks at the time the body was found. Arrested Thursday, both are charged with concealing the birth of a child, a Class I felony, according to a Monday release. Police note other charges may follow. Poole and Byrum are being held at the Dare County Detention Center in Manteo with bond set at $250,000 each.

"It's scary to be the custodian of what might be the last of the evidence, but it's always rewarding in the end to give them an answer," Othram CEO David Mittelman tells WTKR, noting police were able "to confirm the work we did and establish confirmatory evidence that the people they identified were in fact the parents of this child." "The tragedy of this child's death and the manner in which his body was disposed of is compounded by the fact that, until now, no one has been found responsible for this incredibly heartbreaking act," Webster says, per CBS News. (This follows a string of arrests in other infant deaths over the decades.)

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