She delivered the stillborn baby in the bathroom of her mobile home. Instead of grieving for the child, the father took the body outside to a barrel, set it on fire, and then buried the remains in an unmarked grave that police in Chester County are still seeking, authorities say.
William Jones, 49, who police say also sold methamphetamine, was arrested Tuesday and charged with abuse of corpse, concealing the death of a child, drug delivery, and related offenses. The mother, Anita Depedro, 29, remains at large, facing charges of drug dealing. She is not charged with covering up her child’s death or abusing the corpse.
“When the child was stillborn, the father burned the baby and discarded the child like trash,” First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone said in a statement. “This is a disturbing and horrific case.”
The charges stem from two separate investigations, prosecutors said.
The probe into the child’s death began in March, when, authorities say, an anonymous call came in to Chester County Children and Youth Services. The caller said Depedro had delivered a stillborn child at the mobile home on Egan Circle in Honey Brook Township that she shared with Jones, according to charging documents, and that Jones had burned and buried the corpse somewhere.
Investigators said they searched the property, interviewed witnesses, scoured social media, and reviewed Children and Youth Services records, and found enough evidence to charge Jones. But they never found the child’s remains.
The couple also sold meth — a stimulant whose use has been on the rise in the region over the last two years — to a confidential informant multiple times between June and August, authorities said.
Jones is being held at the Chester County Correctional Facility. Bail had not been set Wednesday, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing had not yet been scheduled, and no attorney for Jones was listed on the documents.
Police ask anyone with information about the case or Depedro’s whereabouts to contact Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866 or the Pennsylvania State Police Embreeville barracks at 610-486-6280.