Florida Couple Charged with Child Neglect After 9-Week-Old Baby Goes Missing

Authorities are asking for helping to locate 9-week-old Chance Walsh

Photo: Sarasota Sherriff

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help locating missing 9-week-old Chance Walsh, who hasn’t been seen in a month, PEOPLE has learned.

On Sunday, the baby boy’s grandmother called authorities to report that she hadn’t seen her grandson since Sept. 9 and was concerned about his welfare after his parents told her that they’d been in a car crash in South Carolina, the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release.

Also, 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 the crash and that they gave him to a woman at a hotel in Georgia,” the release states.

Investigators traced Bury and Walsh’s movements over the past month and said they learned that there was not a baby with them at the time of the car crash, nor was there a child with them when they stayed at an Augusta, Georgia, hotel. However, the release states that a “woman staying at the hotel reported that Kristen tried to sell baby clothes to her and that Kristen told her the baby had died three weeks earlier.”

Bury, 32, and Walsh, 36 – who have a history of drug use, according to police – were located in South Carolina. They have been charged with child neglect and are being held on $150,000 bond while officials search for their son. They have not yet entered a plea.

A search of the couple’s North Port, Florida, home turned up bloodstains and evidence of blood splatter on the walls, cops said. Cadaver dogs also indicated the presence of possible human remains, according to an arrest report obtained by Fox News.

According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, Bury had a previous son, Duane, who died a year ago. The affidavit states that 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.”

Detectives said that the parents have allegedly showed no interest in what happened to their child and are not helping to find him. “It’s beyond frustrating, because someone knows what happened. Just tell us what happened. We’re talking about a child here,” Capt. Charlie Thorpe told WTSP.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Criminal Investigations Section at 941.861.4074 or if you wish to remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers of Sarasota County, 941.366.TIPS (8477), or online at http://www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.

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