Body of deceased child discovered in Carthage backyard, updated information after prelim. autopsy

Joplin News First

Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan tells is they believe it is an infant child.

UPDATE: We learned on Saturday the focus of the Carthage Police Department investigation were the residents of the property at 1102 Walnut. Monday a preliminary autopsy was performed on the body.

“The body discovered was a male child approximately 20 weeks in utero and was prematurely delivered.”

Carthage Police Department

In Missouri it’s generally thought that a child in utero at 20 weeks and under would never be a viable pregnancy. These results are preliminary so we have no further information if someone will be charged with a crime and what those charges would include.

This is part of our recorded interview with Ofc. Chad Dininger, PIO, of the Carthage Police Department which gives more insight on who the mother could be. See the full video above.

  • “It appears to be a very young infant.” C.D.
  • How long had it been [buried] in the yard? JLN
  • “Not very long. Right now investigators are doing interviews with people who do live here, neighbors, we call it a neighborhood canvas, and then we do have a lot of children who live in the residence. We are also requesting the assistance of DFS and the juvenile office to try and help kind of sort out what has happened, just to speak to the children and such.” C.D.
  • Should neighbors be concerned? JLN
  • “No I believe this is an isolated incident that is related to this one residence only.” C.D.

Currently no one has been arrested or charged.


ORIGINAL CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage Police Department responded to a residence,1102 Walnut, shortly after 4:00 PM Saturday.

Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan tells us, “We got a report that somebody had found the body of a deceased child. We responded, and we can confirm the body of a deceased child in this back yard.”

The body is in a state of decay. It’s undetermined how long the body has been there.

“It was some neighbors who noticed it. So we have talked to all of them. We are talking to everyone that lives in the house.”

Officer Chad Dininger, PIO for the Carthage Police Department, tells us he believes this is an isolated incident.

The body was partially buried and had recently been partially unearthed.

Currently it is being treated as a death investigation. The body will be sent for autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Ofc. Dininger told us they have talked to the adults at the residence however the Jasper County Juvenile office is assisting them to interview children who live at the house.

If anyone has any information you are encouraged to contact the Carthage Police Department: 417-237-7200.

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