Police: Woman wanted on North Carolina warrant captured in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- (WJXT) -- A woman wanted in North Carolina in connection with the discovery of babies' body parts under a home 15 months ago was arrested Wednesday in Jacksonville.
Police in Smithfield, North Carolina, said 41-year-old Bridgette Morgan Smith was arrested on East Beaver Street on a warrant for concealing or failing to report a death. She is being held in the Duval County jail on a fugitive warrant of extradition.
Investigators said that in April 2016 a relative of Smith's found trash bags containing the remains of two infants in a crawl space under her mother's Smithfield home.
According to the warrant issued for Smith, her mother, Pamela McBride, told police on April 16, 2016, that she asked her son, James Morgan, to run a cable under the house and when he opened the crawl space door he found two trash bags that he described as “squishy.” When he later opened them, he realized right away that they contained what looked like human remains. He alerted McBride, who called police.
The detective who responded confirmed the remains appeared to be those of a human infant, and that a foot the size of a newborn's could be seen among the remains. The medical examiner later confirmed the remains were those of two babies.
The detective said the remains were wrapped in three separate trash bags, with towels wrapped around the remains inside the inner trash bag.
McBride told police her daughter, Smith, had battled drug addiction her entire adult life, mostly using cocaine but sometimes meth. McBride told the detective that Smith became pregnant as a teenager and that she delivered the child and immediately adopted him upon birth.
McBride told police that Smith has a daughter and son that are in McBride's custody. The girl was 7 years old and the boy was 8 months old when the initial report was filed in 2016.
McBride told police that Smith would live with her for months at a time, but then leave and stay gone for months.
Police don't know why Smith was in Jacksonville.
It's unclear when she will be taken back to North Carolina, but she has waived extradition, according to court records.
The medical examiner's office has not determined a cause of death, and further charges for Smith have not been ruled out, authorities said.