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Breakthrough in 30-year-old investigation of baby's remains leads to arrest of North Carolina couple

The lab was able to examine DNA from the rib and conduct a genealogical profile. It led to a family in North Carolina, and two people are facing charges.

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Thirty years later, a breakthrough in DNA evidence led to the arrest of two people who are accused of being connected to the death of an unidentified baby whose remains were found in Nags Head, North Carolina.

On April 4, 1991, around 10 a.m., police in Nags Head responded to the 8600 block of East Tides Drive in south Nags Head. 

Someone had found human remains in a trash can rack.

At the scene, the remains were so badly decomposed that they could not tell the baby's gender. The baby was later determined to be a boy, and was called "Baby Doe" since they had no information about who he could be. 

For years, investigators assessed evidence over and over again and had no leads. In 2019, they sent one of his ribs to a private lab in Texas for analysis. 

The lab was able to extract DNA from the rib and conduct a genealogical profile. It indicated ties to a family in North Carolina, and further investigation from this break in the case led to the arrest of Scott Gordon Poole, 54, and his wife Robin Lynn Byrum, 51. They're both from Taylorsville, North Carolina. 

“The tragedy of this child’s death and the manner in which his body was disposed of is compounded by the fact that, until now, no one has been found responsible for this incredibly heartbreaking act,” said Nags Head Police Chief Phil Webster. “But, through the hard work of Nags Head Police investigators and our law enforcement partners in the case, those who did this will be held accountable for a death that has remained unsolved for three decades.” 

Poole and Byrum were arrested on Oct. 21 by the Alexander County Sheriff's Office. 

They were charged with concealing the birth of a child, which is a Class I Felony in North Carolina. A spokesperson for the Town of Nags Head said additional charges may be pending. 

Both Poole and Byrum are currently being held at the Dare County Detention Center on $250,000 bond each. 

"These arrests are a result of many years of diligent investigation by our highly-trained and dedicated law enforcement professionals," said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “While they are responsible for responding to accidents and crimes, they must also defend the innocent. This is a true example of that. The Board and I appreciate their diligence in working to solve this crime.”