Mother of Baby Chance found dead in apparent suicide

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SARASOTA, Fla. – The body of Kristen Bury, the mother of Chance Walsh, was found dead inside a Sarasota County jail cell early Saturday morning in an apparent suicide, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bury, 33, was pronounced dead at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Bury pleaded no contest to aggravated manslaughter and was sentenced in January to 25 years in prison for her role in the death of her nine-week-old baby, who was found buried in a remote wooded area in North Port in October 2015. The sentence was part of a plea deal that required her to testify against her husband, Joseph Walsh, who is charged with first-degree murder.

Chance gasped for breath for hours after Walsh beat him, and eventually choked on the diaper wipe that was stuffed down his throat, an arrest report said.

Small amounts of blood were found on the bed pillows, comforter and mattress inside the couple’s Orduna Drive home in North Port, the report said. Blood spatter was also found on the walls, door, mirror and light fixture in the bathroom.

The baby was alive afterwards, but died the next day after paramedics were not called, court documents said.

Chance was left in his crib for days following his September 2015 death, then placed in garbage bags for a few more days before being buried, the documents said.

The couple initially said the baby died in a vehicle wreck in South Carolina, then claimed Chance was given away to a stranger at a Georgia hotel prior to the crash.

Bury eventually led authorities to his body, located at a gravesite near Elliot Court.

Walsh’s second-degree murder charge was upgraded after jailhouse letters to him from Bury detailed her attempt to stop him from hurting Chance, but said she feared for her life. She also wrote of her love for her husband, saying she wanted to get each other’s name tattooed around their ring fingers as wedding bands.

“We get out, we’re doing it immediately,” she wrote.

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