Deputies serving an eviction notice at a South Carolina apartment complex on Monday made a disturbing recovery. While cleaning up the apartment, they found the badly decomposed remains of an infant in sealed containers.
“During the process of items being removed from the apartment on Monday, that’s when the discovery was made,” Fountain Inn Police Department Captain Michael Hamilton told PEOPLE.
The baby’s remains were found inside two sealed containers in the bedroom apartment of a woman, Fountain Inn Police Chief Keith Morton told WSPA. The containers were found inside a hamper. Whether or not that woman was the person getting evicted is unclear.
“It’s tragic all around,” Morton said.
The infant has been dead for about 11 months, according to Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols.
“Any time there’s a child, it’s new for me because I’ve got a heart,” Nichols told WHNS-TV. “I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, but it hurts deeply when there’s a child involved.”
Because of how badly the baby was decomposed, investigators were unable to determine its sex or the way it died. Additional tests will be conducted by a pathologist and a forensic anthropologist.
A neighbor inside the complex described the scene at the time of the gruesome discovery.
“The landlord was coming down and she was just crying,” Bianca Jackson told WSPA. “You could actually smell it coming down once they lifted the tops open.”
Another neighbor believes she offered to help the person who was living alongside the infant’s remains. Phyllis Taylor told WHNS-TV she saw a woman sitting outside with her possessions, and offered to help her.
"I thought she needed some help," Taylor said. "But then come to find out she had hid a baby in a clothes hamper."