Traverse City Record-Eagle

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October 31, 2013

Report of 1978 baby death prompts investigation

CENTRAL LAKE — Village police dug up a Central Lake property for an investigation into a report of an infant’s death in 1978.

Central Lake Police Chief Scott Barrett said he couldn’t confirm what the Tuesday dig at 2915 N. Main St. uncovered. He said the investigation began this summer when police received a report that a baby died in an old house on the property.

The original house was destroyed in a controlled burn in 1988 and the current residence was built in the 1990s.

“The primary focus of the investigation was to dig up or discover the original foundation of the house in 1978,” Barrett said.

Barrett is the only full-time officer of the four-member Central Lake Police Department. He said Antrim County sheriff’s deputies and a Michigan state police forensics team assisted the Tuesday search and the investigation was unusual for his department.

“It’s actually one of those things we can’t do that often,” he said.

Antrim County Sheriff Dan Bean referred questions to Barrett. Authorities haven’t released the names of a potential suspect or revealed whether the investigation found human remains.

Barrett said it’s too early to speculate on whether foul play occurred and didn’t expect further details to be revealed for weeks. He said the investigation is not a “cold case” from 1978 and the complaint received this summer was the first the police heard about a possible infant death.

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