Baby's remains missing from Tunica County cemetery - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Baby's remains missing from Tunica County cemetery

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Amanda Reed (Source: WMC Action News 5) Amanda Reed (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A baby's remains are missing from a Tunica County cemetery.

Nine years ago, Amanda Reed's child, Heaven Sent Reed, was a stillbirth. Reed buried Heaven Sent in a cemetery in Tunica County and she's been visiting the grave ever since.

But now Heaven Sent's body is missing.

"I was woke up to a phone call saying that the baby's body was missing," Reed said.

Reed said county road crews dug her child's body up to make a drainage ditch.

"It's just like reopening a wound," Reed said.

Tunica County Road Manager Joe Eddie Hawkins said his crew was cleaning out a ditch, not digging through a graveyard.

"This is a county ditch, and it never was part of a grave yard," Hawkins said. "[We were cleaning the ditch], because of the water problem that we had over on the north end of the street. 

Hawkins said the ditch has been part of the county's route for more than 15 years. He said if a body was there, it didn't belong there.

"I don't even have the words to describe the individual who would use something like this--that would be so emotional to a mother for other reasons," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said the nearby cemetery's owner is creating this controversy to distract people from complaints against the cemetery.

"I have no reason to distract anybody," cemetery owner Christopher Thomas said.

Thomas said the area Hawkins said is a county ditch is really part of his property--and has been for years.

Thomas said Heaven Sent was buried in the area. He blames the county for not contacting him before working in the area.

"They had no business whatsoever touching that cemetery," Thomas said.

Yet, Reed sits in the middle of this property dispute.

"I don't have a part in it, and I shouldn't be dragged in it," Reed said. "That's all I want: to find the baby.

Reed said she will fight as long as she has to in order to find her child's remains.

The Tunica County Attorney said the Mississippi Secretary of State has opened a file concerning this case.

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