NC couple arrested in 30-year-old case of infant remains found dumped in Nags Head

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NAGS HEAD, N.C. (WAVY) — A couple has been arrested in connection with a case where an infant’s remains were found in the trash 30 years ago in Nags Head.

10 On Your Side went to Nags Head to speak with Police Chief Phil Webster about the break in the case.

He says the arrest is thanks to the tireless efforts of his investigators who never gave up their search for answers in the case.

“Over the years, the detectives and the officers that I have never met and never knew continued to look at this case and didn’t let it die,” he said.

On the morning of April 4, 1991, members of Nags Head Police were sent to the 8600 block of East Tides Drive regarding a report of human remains found in a rack that holds trash cans.

Crime scene photo on East Tides Drive from April 1991 (Photo courtesy: Nags Head Police)

According to a release from police, when officers got to the scene, they found the body of an infant whose gender could not be established due to the body’s advanced state of decomposition.

An autopsy report from the medical examiner later identified the child as a boy who died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.

Over the years, Nags Head Police worked on the unsolved case of “Baby Doe.” In 2019, officers began a re-investigation and sent the infant’s rib bone to a private lab in Woodlands, Texas, called Othram for forensic analysis.

Othram was able to recover human DNA from the bone and used that hereditary material to conduct a genealogical profile which eventually led officials back to a family in North Carolina.

“We needed to find closure for this community, for the department, for the family of the baby,” said Webster.

After further investigation, police arrested 54-year-old Scott Gordon Poole and his wife, 51-year-old Robyn Lynn Byrum, on Oct. 21, 2021. The couple lived in Taylorsville, North Carolina. They have been charged with concealing the birth of a child, a Class I felony. Officials say additional charges may be pending.

Poole and Byrum were booked at the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office with bonds set at $250,000 for both and have since been transferred to the Dare County Detention Center.

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