Police: Woman Faked Pregnancy Before Search for Buried Fetus
New documents emerged Thursday, claiming a West Siloam Springs, Okla., woman faked her pregnancy before authorities dug up her yard looking for a buried fetus.
The woman’s lies were complete with fake Facebook photographs, police said.
Investigators ended a search for a possible buried fetus in West Siloam Springs on Wednesday, saying no evidence exists that a fetus is buried in a woman’s yard or that she was ever pregnant.
Police were searching for human remains in the Delaware County yard of Stacy Leigh Belt, 32.
Belt said that on Feb. 13, she had a boy at the Siloam Springs hospital. She told investigators that the boy was seven pounds, six ounces and 21 inches long, but the Arkansas Department of Human Services took the child because she did not have pre-natal care, according to an affidavit released Thursday by the Delaware County District Court.
She even gave officers the name of the child, although the name is not mentioned in the affidavit.
The West Siloam Springs Police Department requested the bureau’s assistance Monday night concerning an investigation into a possible fetus being buried at 764 Serenity Drive, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The affidavit states Arkansas DHS and the Siloam Spring hospital had no records of any births to Stacy Belt during the time frame Belt claimed she had given birth.
Police said she faked her pregnancy by posting pictures on Facebook of previous pregnancies.
“She took pictures from previous child births and told us what album she got it out of,” said West Siloam Springs Police Chief Larry Barnett. “We went back and confirmed all the pictures and found that everything that she had told us.”
Members of a closed Facebook group based in Siloam Springs said Belt recently approached the group looking for baby gear for her soon-to-be son.
“My lil guy is 7 days overdue,” Belt states in a Feb. 2 post in the group.
Belt often references being a mother on her Facebook page. In an August entry, she states, “I HAVE FAILED IN EVERY WAY, AS A MOTHER, A PARTNER, AN EMPLOYEE, A FRIEND. I CAUSE PAIN TO EVERYONE AROUND ME.”
Police said Belt received gifts from people who thought she was pregnant.
Officers went back to the Belt’s residence and spoke with her again, Stacy repeated the same story she had told officers earlier, then bowed her head and changed her story, according to the affidavit.
Belt said that around Aug. 24, she had a miscarriage at her residence and took the fetus, which she said was about 14 weeks old, wrapped it in a t-shirt and buried it about two or three feet deep in the yard of her home in an area behind the burial sites of the family pets. Belt said she marked the grave with white rocks or stones in a triangle shape, according to the affidavit.
Investigators said there was a grave site, but they could not find a fetus.
Belt went on to tell officers that she did not want her children to know what happened and that this had been her third miscarriage.
“We have no proof of that, as many times as we have been lied to. We have no proof, we have no documentation (of) doctors or hospitals. We have been unable to find anything on that, that is even true,” said Barnett.
Multiple agencies assisted in the two-day search, which started Tuesday. Cadaver dogs were used to search for the fetus Wednesday. Barnett said 300 man-hours were spent on the search.
“We exhausted everything I had,” Barnett said.
Belt was arrested earlier this week and booked into the Delaware County jail on $15,000 bond on suspicion of three counts of child neglect, according to Delaware County officials. She was later released from jail.
Belt has three young daughters, a neighbor told 5NEWS. School officials contacted West Siloam Springs Police about Belt’s three children and alleged repeated cases of lice and scabies, spurring the investigation, according to the affidavit.
The children were taken into DHS custody Monday (March 4th).
Police said the home was unfit for children to live in.
“There was approximately eight dogs in the house and cats,” added Barnett.
Belt was initially arrested on suspicion of desecration of a body. That potential charge was dropped, but she still faces the three charges of child neglect, according to police.
Investigators took down the police tape and left the scene at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation pulled out of the case the same day, and a spokeswoman for the bureau said there is no evidence a crime was committed involving a fetus.