A North Carolina woman has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two infants whose bodies were discovered under a home in 2016.
Bridgette Morgan Smith, 41, was arrested in Florida on June 21 and charged with two counts of concealing the death of a child. Officials are working to extradite her to North Carolina.
Police would not confirm or deny that Smith is a suspect in the infants' deaths, with Smithfield Police Capt. Ryan Sheppard insisting that there is "still a very active investigation" underway.
The News & Observer reports that Smith was considered a person of interest shortly after the criminal investigation began and had been questioned by authorities. Smith's mother, Pamela McBride, rents the home under which the bodies were found.
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The discovery was made by McBride's son, James Morgan, who came across two black trash bags while he was running a cable underneath the house. A search warrant indicates that when Morgan looked inside one of the bags -- which he described as "squishy" -- he "recognized that it contained remains of something once living."
When police arrived, they opened the bags and saw a human foot that was "approximately the size of a newborn's foot." The infants' remains had been wrapped in towels.
Smith's family said she has been addicted to drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine, for "her entire life." McBride said Smith lived with her intermittently, for weeks or months at a time.
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McBride added that she has custody of Smith's children, an 8-year-old girl and a toddler boy. She said Smith had her first child as a teenager and later put it up for adoption. McBride guessed that Smith had been pregnant a total of 10 times.
Another family member, Hayley Fugate, also mentioned that Smith had been pregnant numerous times.
"She would stay gone months at a time," Fugate told WTVD. "When she finally came around, she would act like nothing was wrong. She'd walk in and be fine. We could be standing face to face and she would be big and she would just say she was fat. She would never say she was pregnant ever."
McBride said Smith once abandoned a baby at a hospital. She also recalled seeing a "blood trail" that led from the bathroom to Smith's bedroom. This reportedly appeared after Smith had locked herself in the bathroom with the bathwater running for several hours.
Smith fled North Carolina in 2016 after learning that she was a person of interest in the investigation. Police had been looking for her ever since.
"It seems like we’ve been chasing a ghost for six months," Capt. Sheppard said.
He added that additional charges may be forthcoming.