SARASOTA, Fla. — Authorities say the mother of aninfant found buried near their southwest Florida home last year has been found dead in her jail cell in an apparent suicide.
Kristen Bury, 33, pleaded no contest to an aggravated manslaughter charge in January and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the death of her 2-month-old son, Chance Walsh.
Multiple news outlets report Bury recently returned to the Sarasota County jail to appear in court in an unrelated case.
The sheriff’s office says deputies found Bury unresponsive in her cell early Saturday. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
In a statement, Lt. Joe Giasone said the initial investigation “indicates a suicide.” An autopsy is planned.
A grand jury indicted Chance’s father Joseph Walsh on a first-degree murder charge in March. Bury had agreed to testify against him.
The child was reported missing by his grandparents on Oct. 4, 2015, concerned that they hadn’t seen the boy since Sept. 9. Investigators tracked the child’s parents to Hardeeville, S.C., where police say they gave detectives conflicting stories — that the little boy was OK; that he died in a car crash; and that they gave him away. A massive search was then launched for the child, and his remains were discovered buried in a wooded area that month.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Bury later told investigators that the infant had died Sept. 16 at their North Port home. That morning, she said, she and Joseph Walsh got into an argument. Walsh, she said, began repeatedly hitting the child, at one point telling her he was going to bash the child’s head into the ground, according to the affidavit.
According to the document, Bury told Walsh, “You are going to break his (expletive) neck.” However, police say the woman didn’t call 911 or attempt to prevent Walsh from hurting the boy.