A Christiansburg woman has been criminally charged after police found a fetus in the closet of her home. Melinda Sue Woolwine was release on an unsecured bond.
Here is the complete announcement from Christiansburg police and the Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney:
(Christiansburg, VA) - Charges have been placed in connection with the deceased fetus that was discovered by Christiansburg police in the closet of a home late last month.
Melinda Sue Woolwine, 23, has been charged with one count of violating Virginia §18.2-323.02 (transport, secrete, conceal or alter a dead body to prevent the detection of the death or the manner or cause of death).
Investigators with the Christiansburg Police Department believe Woolwine gave birth to a nearly full-term fetus approximately two or three weeks before it was discovered on September 28 inside a home located in the 100 block of East Street.
The remains were transported to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and investigation. The medical examiner’s preliminary report indicates that tests to determine whether or not the fetus was alive at birth were inconclusive due to the state of decomposition.
Christiansburg police conducted a thorough investigation related to the circumstances of the incident, including any potential discrepancies between evidence and statements allegedly made by Woolwine and other witnesses.
“In coordination with the Christiansburg Police Department, I feel confident this is the appropriate charge to place against Ms. Woolwine at this time as we have no evidence that the fetus was born alive,” said Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt.
Woolwine was released on an unsecured bond and ordered to continue treatment as recommended by Access Services. She was also ordered to remain in the Commonwealth of Virginia pending trial.
The charge is a Class 6 felony, with conviction carrying a 1 to 5 years prison sentence, and/or a $2500.00 fine.