Woman indicted on abuse of corpse charge after newborn found in trash

Jeff Bobo • Feb 4, 2013 at 8:47 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County woman accused of placing her deceased newborn in a garbage can last April was indicted Friday by the Hawkins County grand jury on one count of felony abuse of a corpse.

On Oct. 1 the grand jury returned a “no true bill” on a homicide presentment against Kathyrn Condrey, 36, 184 Valley Crest Drive, Mount Carmel.

The grand jury opted not to press charges due to the fact that an autopsy couldn’t determine a cause of death or if the infant had been born alive.

Within three days, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation charged Condrey with abuse of a corpse, a Class E felony, at the direction of Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell.

Bell told the Times-News in October that abuse of a corpse had not been presented to the grand jury at that time because prosecutors and investigators were focused on the homicide presentment.

Bell said he had considered an abuse of a corpse charge when the investigation began, “but we became focused on the murder case and just dropped it.”

Condrey allegedly admitted that she was the mother of the deceased infant, which was described as a full-term babv.

Tennessee law related to abuse of a corpse states that the charge is applicable if physical mistreatment of a corpse is in a manner offensive to the sensibilities of an ordinary person.

On April 2, the Mount Carmel Police Department was dispatched to the Condrey residence on Valley Crest Drive in the Hammond Estates subdivision on a complaint of a deceased infant.

According to a MCPD report, on April 1 Kathryn Condrey’s husband, Joseph Condrey Jr., noticed a rolled-up bundle under the deck at the back of the home. Kathryn Condrey reportedly told him it was food scraps and to throw it in the garbage.

Police said Joseph Condrey was separated from his wife at the time but was visiting the residence they formerly shared on Valley Crest Drive.

Joseph Condrey became suspicious of the bundle on April 2, so he retrieved it from the garbage and found it to contain a deceased infant.

As a Class E felony, abuse of a corpse is punishable by one to two years in prison.

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