Body of Missing 9-Week-Old Baby Boy Believed to Have Been Found: 'We Have Confirmed Our Worst Fears'
Chance Walsh was last seen on Sept. 9
The body of Chance Walsh, the 9-week-old Florida baby who went missing more than a month ago, is believed to have been found dead in North Port, Florida.
“The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of an infant believed to be that of Chance Walsh this afternoon in North Port,” Sheriff Tom Knight says in a statement to PEOPLE.
According to Knight, the investigation to find Chance was a multi-state effort that brought in federal authorities. Ultimately, however, the investigation “confirmed our worst fears,” the statement says.
“We will work with the Medical Examiner’s Office on positive identification. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chance’s grandparents and other family members at this time.”
Police were first alerted that Chance was missing after his grandmother, Sally Susino, called authorities to report that she hadn’t seen him in a nearly a month. She also said that the boy’s parents, Kristen Bury and Joseph Walsh, had allegedly told relatives contradictory stories to explain his absence, “including that the child was unharmed, that he died in [a car] crash and that they gave him to a woman at a hotel in Georgia,” police said.
Bury and Walsh have been in custody since last week, when they were apprehended by South Carolina authorities on charges of child neglect. No charges have been brought in connection with Chance’s death, but a search of the couple’s North Port home turned up bloodstains and evidence of blood splatter on the wall. Cadaver dogs also indicated the presence of possible human remains, according to a police report obtained by PEOPLE.
Susino had publicly begged Bury and Walsh to tell investigators what happened to the missing baby boy. “We are hoping Kristen and Joseph, who were apprehended by the FBI and are in custody, will do what’s right and tell us where Chance is,” Susino, who is Bury’s mother, said last Thursday in an emotional press conference.
A source tells PEOPLE that a tip that came in on Wednesday evening led authorities to a wooded area where the body of the infant believed to be Chance was found buried.
This is not the first time a child of Bury and Walsh’s has died – they lost another son, Duane, in 2014. Duane was just 2 weeks old when he allegedly died of a kidney infection that resulted from a botched circumcision, a family friend told PEOPLE last week.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Bury allegedly told her stepmother that she “despised” Chance whenever she would look at him because he was not Duane and said it was “better that he was not around because she would have hurt him.”
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