NORTH PORT, Fla. – A man familiar with the parents of murdered Baby Chance Walsh tried to warn the Department of Children and Families before the infant was murdered nine weeks after birth.
Ten days after Kristen Bury and Joseph Walsh took their son home from the hospital, Brandon Gutierrez said he was sitting in the backseat of a car testing the baby for signs of drug withdrawal.
“When their arms are at their side, you would pull their arms up and the resistance that they give you tells you because a normal baby would just let go,” he said.
He tried to call DCF a little more than a week before. DCF confirmed they received a call from Gutierrez but that investigators failed to look into his claims since Gutierrez had no first-hand knowledge of Bury’s drug use.
Gutierrez said he was concerned about Bury’s past with drugs and especially worried because her other baby Duane had died. He said Chance’s parents were scared Chance wouldn’t make it.
“They were afraid that they were going to lose Chance because she was taking the drugs and she obviously didn’t have her prescription for it,” Gutierrez said.
From his encounters with Chance during the infant’s nine weeks of life, Gutierrez was convinced that he was suffering.
“There was definite signs. He was fussy — not just fussy but no matter if you took him out, changed his diaper, had a bottle, it didn’t matter,” Gutierrez said. “You could tell he was hurting.”
Baby Chance was buried in a wooded area about 13 miles from his home in North Port. But Gutierrez said he was unsure about the baby’s whereabouts because Bury and Walsh continued to lie. He believes he saw the baby’s parents before burying their child who was left dead for a week in their home, according to discovery documents. He says the couple had agreed to take him to a doctor’s appointment that day.
“They actually left and said they had to go run a couple errands and then come back and ‘Get you,'” Gutierrez said. “And I said ‘No problem.'”
Gutierrez said he had a gut feeling about Chance’s death when he heard the baby was missing. He said Walsh and Bury told him the baby was with relatives.
“And when I actually found out that he was gone, I knew he was gone,” Gutierrez said. “I mean everyone was looking for this baby but it was just like — I guess you just know in your heart. I don’t know.”
Bury was sentenced to 25 years in prison after accepting a plea deal. She will testify against her husband who is awaiting trial for second degree murder.