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Mother charged with murder of Sarasota County baby

A Sarasota County woman was arrested on a murder charge after leading deputies to the grave of a 2-month-old baby believed to be her son.

Kristen L. Bury, 32, was extradited Friday from South Carolina after setting off in late September with the baby's father, Joseph Walsh, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators are awaiting confirmation that the remains found are those of Chance Walsh.

The discovery of the body came the day after Bury and Walsh told investigators that Chance had died the morning of Sept. 16 in their home in North Port, a community between Sarasota and Fort Myers, south of Myakka River State Park.

The grave site was 13 miles east of their home. Detectives also found a fragment of a blue surgical glove linked to the baby's father, according to Bury's arrest report.

Deputies first heard of Chance's disappearance on Oct. 4 from his maternal grandmother, Sally Susino, after she hadn't seen the child for almost a month. She described the parents as longtime drug users, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, Bury and Walsh had left town and driven north. They told relatives conflicting stories, including that Chance was not hurt, that he died in a car accident in Hardeeville, S.C., and that they had given him to a woman at a Georgia hotel, the Sheriff's Office said.

Detectives could not confirm any of the stories and initially charged the pair with child neglect. They were held in Jasper County, S.C., while awaiting extradition to Sarasota County, according to the report. As of Saturday afternoon, Walsh remained in custody there, according to the Jasper County Detention Center.

Bury, held without bail at a Sarasota jail, made her first appearance before a judge Saturday morning represented by a public defender.

A video provided by the Sheriff's Office shows her with her head in her hands for most of the appearance.

Contact Kathryn Varn at 727-893-8913 or kvarn@tampabay.com. Follow @kathrynvarn.

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