Community reacts to baby death investigation in Russell County - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Community reacts to baby death investigation in Russell County

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Jamie Lawson and Ashley Crouch (Source: Russell County Sheriff's Office) Jamie Lawson and Ashley Crouch (Source: Russell County Sheriff's Office)
RUSSELL COUNTY, VA (WJHL) - A Russell County mother is now facing a murder charge after investigators discovered her dead newborn baby. 

Jamie Lawson, 30, was indicted Monday by a Russell County Grand Jury on several charges including felony murder and conspiracy to conceal a dead body.

Also indicted in the case was Ashley Couch, 29, who was also charged with conspiracy to conceal a dead body and concealing a dead body. Both are being held without bond in the Abingdon Regional Jail.

"How? How could she?" asked Michelle Turner of Castlewood. "How could they?"

On June 28th,  a tip came in the to the Russell County Sheriff's Office. Chief Deputy William Watson told News Channel 11 the tipster, "stated there had been an infant child buried in the Castlewood section of Russell County."

Amanda Steffey of Castlewood showed News Channel 11 where the child was allegedly buried, "Here, like I said on River Road, that the baby was in a black garbage bag and it was in a shallow grave down here."

Investigators said Lawson killed her newborn child on June 27th in Castlewood. How and why, they won't say. 

But in Castlewood, it's not hard to find people who said they know the full story.

Turner said she knew Lawson was pregnant, We found out pretty quickly that it was Jamie," Turner said. 

In fact, she and her step-sister Amanda Steffey said they were told there was a family connection. Steffey said, "My brother and her ended up getting together and they planned this pregnancy." 

But they said things changed. Soon, they knew Lawson no longer wanted her child. "There [are] plenty of people around here that would have took the baby," Turner said. 

"I just don't understand how anybody could be like that. What would force someone do such a thing?" Steffey said. 

"How could you do something like that to someone so pure and innocent and lovable, because that's what babies are -  they're lovable," Turner said. 

This family said they already are taking steps to do something right in a situation that's so wrong. "They've already got a plot. We want to bury him. We want to put him to rest," Turner said.

Both women told News Channel 11 their brother is currently in jail, but he's taking steps to prove he's the father of the child. 

Deputies weren't able to tell to News Channel much more, but they said a lot of questions still need to be answered and their investigation isn't over.

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