MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - An anonymous phone call to the Marion County Sheriff's Office brought investigators to 98 Arthur B Johnson Lane in south Marion County just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall said the tip pointed to a gruesome discovery.
Investigators noticed what appeared to be the charred remains of a baby inside of a steel burn barrel. Deputies secured the scene and notified state authorities. Hall said, "We notified MBI to bring them in, and get the crime scene unit in route."
Once the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and crime lab personnel descended upon the location, they began to take account of the crime scene. Investigators worked into the night and along with the county coroner removed the remains of an alleged newborn baby to be transported to Jackson.
Hall said, "Two of my investigators are in Jackson right now to observe the autopsy and hopefully collect some other evidence."
The alleged mother of the child, 26-year-old Sasha Stokes, has been charged with murder in connection with the baby's death. The events surrounding the baby's death are unclear, however the autopsy report should place a time of death and age of the child.
Neighbors near the scene reported seeing the barrel smoking as late as Sunday, and authorities said despite the nature of the job nothing prepares you for disturbing scenes such as this.
"Even though we're law enforcement officers we're still human beings and no matter how many times you do it, it affects you," Hall said.