'Very sad': Parents arrested after infant's body found buried in shallow grave behind Erwin house

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Sunday, August 21, 2022
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Neighbors react to infants body found in Harnett County

ERWIN, N.C. (WTVD) -- Police in Erwin have arrested a man and woman after finding an infant's body behind their home. Both are facing murder and possibly other charges in connection to the investigation.

Police confirm they started the investigation after receiving a tip about an unreported death that occurred several months earlier at a house on Moulton Springs Road. Police said they executed a search warrant at the house around 9:00 p.m. Friday. During the search, officers said a cadaver dog lead them to a decomposed body of an infant behind the house.

The infant's mother, Gracie Riddle, and father, Dustin Vandyke, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

"Where the child was buried, there was a lawn mower that sat there for a long time. And it was a nice lawn mower, but it never moved. We just figured that something was wrong with it. And it was just sitting there. Now the lawn mower moved in the last month, so now this child is uncovered," One neighbor told ABC11.

A woman driving by the scene on Sunday expressed how heartbreaking and sad the news of the infant's death is.

"It was very heartbreaking. Very heartbreaking. I have two kids myself, so I cannot imagine. It's just very sad," Tiffany Edwards said.

Riddle and Vandyke are currently incarcerated at the Harnett County Jail.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the case and additional charges are likely.