Fugitive Who Confessed to Burying Infant in National Forest Face - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Fugitive Who Confessed to Burying Infant in National Forest Faces New Charges

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Joseph Christy Joseph Christy
Summer McDaniel Summer McDaniel
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MORGANTOWN -

Update

West Virginia State Police have filed additional charges against a couple in connection to the death of their 26-day-old infant.  Joseph A. Christy and Summer L. McDaniel were arrested in Morgantown on July 6 on fugitive and child neglect charges.  Following their arrests, Christy admitted that they had buried an infant child in the George Washington National Forest in the Wardensville area of West Virginia.  West Virginia State Police and members of the Morgantown Police Department responded to the burial site and unearthed the infant's remains, according to a news release from state police.  In addition to the couple's original charges, they are charged with two counts each of child neglect resulting in death, concealment of a dead human body, and conspiracy to commit a felony.  McDaniel waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on July 16 and Christy's case was bound over to the grand jury.

The couple's four other children are in the custody of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.


Original Story

A vehicle pursuit in Monongalia County Saturday resulted in the arrest of two people, including a fugitive, and multiple criminal charges including child neglect.

Morgantown Police were investigating a suspicious vehicle with a stolen license plate in the Sabraton Sheetz parking lot at approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday.  First Sgt. Matt McCabe initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle on the westbound ramp of Interstate 68 and Route 7 and the vehicle failed to stop.  The pursuit continued and the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department and West Virginia State Police assisted in the pursuit and were able to stop the vehicle when a sheriff's department vehicle was able to get in front of it.  The driver, Joseph Christy, 32, of Colorado, was taken into custody without incident, according to Morgantown Police.  Christy was a fugitive for escape in Colorado Springs, Colorado and had stolen the vehicle from Iowa, according to police.  During the pursuit, four children in the rear of the vehicle were not restrained and the children's mother, Summer McDaniel, 26, of Maryville, Missouri, was charged with four counts of child neglect.

Interviews following the pursuit revealed that Christy and McDaniel had buried an infant child in the George Washington National Forest in the Wardensville area of West Virginia.  West Virginia State Police and members of the Morgantown Police Department responded to the burial site and unearthed the infant's remains, according to a news release from state police.  The body was sent to the medical examiner's office to determine the possible cause and time of death.  Charges have not been filed regarding the infant's death or burial at this time.

Christy and McDaniel are being held in North Central Regional Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail each.