Body found in search for missing baby; believed to be Chance Walsh

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Investigators believe they have found the body of 9-week-old Chance Walsh, who has not been seen since September.

Family members of the North Port baby contacted the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office when they became concerned after not having seen him in a month.

Thursday, detectives searched an area near Wylam Dr. & English Cir. after receiving a tip of a possible location of baby Chance. Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight was emotional during a news conference Thursday afternoon announcing they recovered the body of an infant they believe is baby Chance. 

By Thursday evening, a memorial had grown with photos, balloons, and stuffed animals.

According to deputies, Kristen Bury and Joseph Walsh have lied to them about what happened to their son. 

The couple told deputies several stories, including that Chance was killed in a car crash in South Carolina, and another that he was dropped off with a woman in Georgia.

Both were found to be untrue.

Detectives confirmed with their colleagues in South Carolina that there was no baby in the couple's vehicle at the time of the crash and no room for a car seat. They also confirmed with Georgia law enforcement that the couple stayed at an Augusta hotel but there was no baby with them.

A woman staying at the hotel reported that Kristen Walsh tried to sell baby clothes to her and that Kristen told her the baby had died three weeks earlier.

Walsh, 36, and Bury, 32, have now been charged with child neglect. They are each being held in South Carolina on $150,000 bond, awaiting extradition to the Sarasota County Jail.

A search of the couple's North Port home revealed droplets of blood and evidence of splatter on the walls and ceiling, according to the arrest report, and cadaver dogs indicated the possible presence of human remains, but detectives continued asking the public for tips on baby Chance's whereabouts. 

"When you're talking about an infant child or any child time is of the essence," said Capt. Charlie Thorpe, with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.