The Smithfield Police Department has determined that trash bags found under a home on Saturday contained the bodies of two infants.
Police have not said if they know the identity of the infants, but they say they want to speak with the adult daughter of a woman who lives in the house. Police call Bridgette Morgan Smith, 40, a “person of interest” and are seeking her whereabouts.
According to a search warrant application, Smith is the daughter of Pamela McBride, who rents the home in the 100 block of Hartley Drive and lives there with her son and his fiance. McBride told Smithfield Det. J. Wheeler that her son found the plastic trash bags in the crawl space as he was running a cable under the house on Saturday.
Wheeler said that when the son, James Morgan, opened one of the bags, he “immediately recognized that it contained remains of something once living.”
Morgan and McBride immediately called police about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, they told Wheeler.
The remains were wrapped in towels inside three trash bags, Wheeler said. The bags and their contents were transported to medical examiners in Raleigh to be tested for human remains.
McBride told Wheeler that Smith had battled drug addiction throughout her adult life. McBride said Smith had been pregnant as a teenager, delivered the baby and immediately put the child up for adoption. Since then, McBride said her daughter has lived with her off and on. Smith has two children – a 7-year-old daughter and an 8-month-old son – that McBride has custody of.
Several times in the past, McBride said Smith had been pregnant and would attempt to hide her condition in oversized clothing, often leaving for several weeks when she no longer could conceal the pregnancy. When Smith returned, she no longer was pregnant, but made no mention of where the child was, McBride said.
Smith no longer lives at the home, according to the warrants, but several of her belongings still were there. In addition to the two trash bags, police seized a bottle of prenatal vitamins, five appointment letters for prenatal care at UNC Healthcare from early 2015, several Department of Social Services letters addressed to Smith and other items.
No charges had been filed as of late Wednesday. In a statement, police Capt. R.K. Powell described the case as “very tragic” and asked the public and the media to “have patience in order for a thorough investigation to be completed.”
The department asks anyone with information to contact Det. Sgt. R.D. Wood at 919-989-1075 or the Smithfield Tip Line at 919-989-8835.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett