Infant found buried in yard; father of 17-year-old girl says baby was stillborn

SHELTON, Wash. -- Mason County sheriff's detectives on Tuesday found an infant buried in a back yard in Shelton, after the father of 17-year-old girl told authorities that she had given birth to a stillborn fetus and he had buried it in the yard.

The sheriff's office said an autopsy will be performed Friday to determine the cause of death and that the investigation is continuing.

Authorities said they were contacted overnight Monday by an emergency room doctor at St. Peter's Hospital. The doctor told Olympia police that a 17-year-old girl appeared to have given birth in the past 24 hours.

According to the Mason County Sheriff's Office, the girl's father told Olympia detectives that she had given birth to a stillborn fetus on November 9 and that he had buried the child in a yard.

Detectives from Mason County escorted the father back to a residence on W. Hulbert Road in Shelton where he led them to a "freshly dug and refilled hole" in the back yard.

Washington State Patrol crime scene investigators are assisting with the investigation.

Deputies said names would not be released at this time.

This is a developing story and will be updated.