By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
Hardy County Magistrate Craig Hose found probably cause to hold Summer Lynn Snow McDaniel, 26, and Joseph Allan Christy, 32, both of Marysville, Mo. in the death of their 26-day-old infant, Ashter James Christy.
Both have been charged with two counts of conspiracy, one count of concealment of a dead body and one count of child neglect that results in death.
Trooper First Class C. S. Hartman testified that on July 5, the West Virginia State Police were contacted by the Morgantown Detachment. As a result of a pursuit and subsequent arrest, defendant Christy admitted to burying the body of an infant in the George Washington National Forest near Wardensville.
Hartman said McDaniel and Christy accompanied law enforcement to several locations within the National Forest.
“We drove around for about 45 minutes,” Hartman said. “Eventually, he led us to a place that was 61 yards northeast of Forest Service Road 502. It is part of the Hawks Camping area. He pointed out the grave of the child.”
Hartman said the body was wrapped in a gray hoodie and the baby was wearing a sleeper onesy. “There was about six inches of dirt on top of the body and a rock about the size of a basketball on top of the dirt.”
Christy and McDaniel had four other children, ages 11, 7, 4 and 2, and interviews with the three eldest children helped officers put together the events that preceeded the baby’s death.
According to Hartman, the eldest child told him the family had been camping for some time, traveling on back roads. They had visited a relative of their mother in Wardensville.
“He said the baby was sick, and it was family business,” Hartman said. “He wasn’t eating and was throwing up. He indicated there was no medical intervention.”