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Two charged in regards to baby found in Warrensburg, Mo. cave

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WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- A joint investigation has resulted in the arrest and criminal charging of two people suspected of leaving an infant's body in a cave found on March 4. Latasha Wilson, 19, has been charged with abandonment of a corpse and Zakary Carter, 20, has been charged with tampering with physical evidence. Both charges are class D felonies.

A release from the Warrensburg Police Department indicates that evidence ascertained by both the University of Central Missouri Police Department and Warrensburg Police Department implicate Wilson and Carter.

When police discovered the body at the Pertle Springs Cave they said the corpse had been there for some time. Police indicated that Wilson was named as a suspect in this case earlier in the week and was brought in for questioning on Friday.

Court documents indicate that Wilson admitted she had been pregnant and gave birth to the baby boy in January of 2014. At some point after the delivery she said both she and Carter discovered the baby was deceased. She then told investigators that she and Carter took the baby boy's body to a cave at Pertle Springs and left the body there.

Carter is charged for tampering with physical evidence because he allegedly returned to the cave after the pair had left the body. He's accused of burning the body in an attempt to destroy evidence.

The punishments for each of their charges as it currently stands is a prison term not to exceed four years and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000 if they are convicted.

Authorities are waiting on a formal autopsy to be completed to see if additional charges will be filed and the investigation is also still ongoing. Police still urge anyone with information about this case to contact (660) 747-9133.

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  • Amanda

    I went to school with Latasha at UCM. She was in my public speaking class. This hits way too close to him. My prayers and condolences go out to those affected by this tragedy.

  • Ronda

    I knew Zak bc he lived next door to me and Im in utter shock about this . He seemed to be a very polite kid and always had a smile on his face. I cant believe he would be involved in this horrific act !!! Im praying for their families to find peace and strength to get thru this devastating time and know that God gained another precious angel way too soon ! ….. Just reminds you that things can happen so close to home and for this it was TOOO close to home for me !!!
    R.I.P. Precious Baby Boy

  • Amanda

    are you kidding me?! only 4 years??? they deserve way more. I would never do that i DO know the pain of losing a child and no matter what the situation i could never even imagine abandoning the child or trying to burn it. this makes me sick and i wish they could both rot in prison so hopefully some other poor innocent child never has to be near them

  • Idreamofsterlile

    Mandatory Sterilization for both please and throw in a murder charge just for being dumb… Umm… Lets just say she did just find her baby dead…. whats the best solution?! I KNOW! lets put it in a cave! Friend says “Lets burn it”…. really?! YAFM.

  • Alexa Spader

    I worked with this pathetic loser at a place where we took care of adults with mental & physical disabilities, and I’ll tell you this much, i’m NOT surprised. He didn’t act like he gave two shits about them! Also, couldn’t even shower on a regular basis bc he stunk to high heavens every time I worked with him! What a waste of life! Eye for an eye! Ugh!

  • Jaime

    I’m horrified at the lack of compassion from ask these rude comments from the holier than thou crowd. No one knows yet how this baby died. Maybe it was natural causes and two young and very scared parents made a bad choice. I’m due none of the people passing judgement have ever been scared and done something they regret. I’m sure none of you have ever done anything top avoid a bad situation and actually made the situation worse. Shame on YOU. We should all be paying for them and apparently ourselves as well.

    • Melissa Due

      Your right we should all be praying….for people like you that thinks this is ok!!!!!!!!!!! Your sick and so are they! I don’t care how scared or cracked out they were. If the baby is dead you call the police or 911 they would have been scott free, why were they scared?? What did they do to make their selves scared?? If they didn’t kill the baby or leave it somewhere without medical attention they wouldn’t have been scared. Your pathetic and so are they. They need to be tied up in a cave and rot in it. Die slowly of pain and hunger. You say pray…are you a Christian? Do you read the bible? God would say………….STONE THEM TO THEIR DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!! People like you is what makes this world scary to live in!

      • Evan

        God forgives. This is a horrible thing that happened but no person has any right to tell people what god would say. Maybe you should take a look at the bible before speaking for god.

    • Erin Hart

      The hollier than what club? First off murder is murder. Second , if it “just” happened and those young parents didn’t know why then why didn’t they call 911? Thirdly, a child born or unborn is still a child! Why does the murder of the unborn differ from the just born? They both hold life. I know that is a bit off track but people can’t just crucify two people for there horrible sick choice and not be mad at the others who choose to kill innocent babies before they are even given a chance. Murder and abortion are the same thing. Just have different names so the mothers do not get sent to prison.

  • Sarah

    How about the the poor students who had to experience finding a burned infant corpse?! Where’s the prayers for them?! I don’t care if they were “scared” or she is “such a nice girl”. They left a dead baby in a cave and then set it on fire. Nice people don’t do that.

  • Heather

    I think it would be a great blessing and opportunity to share with people places they can take children with no questions asked. I know in other states fire departments, hospitals, and certain churches allow you to bring babies and children for their safety and protection without asking questions. Is that true in Missouri?

  • just me

    This is so sad. Things like this have been going on for many, many years but with TV and the internet, we are hearing about them out in the open and more often. Child abuse, abandonment, neglect are the result of inability to cope with disturbing situations involving children. I cannot fault these two youngsters unless I know the whole story; like how did the baby die? like natural, like trauma, like what? There are some really, really sick people out there, but there are also confused, undereducated and worried parents. They need our help and prayers not our anger.

  • jeff

    Not to excuse what they did, but it was born dead, so I imagine they were under considerable anguish and acted a bit insane, just wanting to put it behind them. Shameful tragedy.

    • Missy

      @ Jeff, Considerable anguish? Wow, Um No, They are considerably retarded (and I don’t even like that word) The sad thing is, not even mentally handicapped people would do this, they would know to call the cops and let them handle this. If you were in considerable anguish you would call the authorities and have that baby buried so you could have a grave to visit and remember what was taken from you so soon, Not throw it in a cave and try to forget. Sick, sick, sick….people in this world are sick!! You all need to read the bible!

  • Mom

    If the baby died from natural causes then was left in a cave that is different than if they killed it. Babies are murdered everyday from abortion and no one really cares, they have needles shoved in their brains and scrambled so they will be born dead, no one is out to get those mothers. If this baby died from natural causes, the parents are not murderers, even if they made a poor choice by leaving it in the cave. I hope they didn’t kill it and then try to hide it, but they are innocent of murder until proven guilty.

  • Mom

    He is charged with tampering with evidence and bond is $3500.00. It makes me so sad that a dead baby is considered evidence. I know there is more to the story, but this is pitiful.

  • chelsea

    I will never be able to understand any of this. I dont think it is right to have a child, and then come to find out the baby passed away “somehow” and then go throw the child into a cave? Who does that? The right thing to do would have been to call 911 or go to the hospital. Some kind of unfortunate event happened to this poor innocent baby. I have no kind of remorse for the 2 in custody for the sick and twisted action they took. Then, go back to the cave after placing the baby in there a few days before and burn the body? Horrible!!!!!!!!

  • Annie

    I do not agree with what they did and a small little angel was hidden in a cave but I do remember My daddy always telling me ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE YOU AND YOU WILL HAVE TO ANSWER TO HIM AND HIM ALONE. Try not to do anything in life you will have to explain to him for. My daddy was a very smart man. I do pray for the families involved and for the baby. I do not know the whole story so I am also praying for the souls of the 2 people involved who made wrong decisions. GOD

  • Bril

    First, (going strictly off what they’ve said) the baby was not abandoned, the CORPSE was. It’s fully possible her family didn’t know she was pregnant and she was worried if THEY found out she would have no where to go. Has anyone considered that she wasn’t afraid of the police finding out, but everyone else? Such as people like many of you who immediately judge and accuse with cries for blood?
    Second, he tried to burn the body. Anyone ever heard of cremation? Ya’ll say it’s SO HORRIBLE that they left a dead baby in a cave and tried to burn a corpse. There are a million reasons two teenage kids might do this that THANKFULLY none of you have had to go through. Don’t judge people who have walked miles you’ve never even considered.

  • squeaky wheeler

    Much to our deep anguish, a friend of my family recently passed away. My daughter, spouse and I were notified by the friend’s surviving spouse. Of course, as good friends and comrades, the first thing we did was to discuss how to move the body to a cave and then burn it.

    No. Wait. That’s not right. We called 911. Emergency personnel from every facet of the community showed up and asked questions, comforted, looked around, etc. People who are grieving and who don’t have anything to hide call 911. Naughty people who may have had something to do with the death take corpses and leave them in caves and then go back to burn them.

    Wait… wait. You know what? This could be a teaching moment! You know how pesky little teenaged girls keep mysteriously turning up pregnant? The schools have stepped in and begun to teach courses on how babies are made and how to avoid acquiring other fun things whilst endeavoring to procreate (or not). Perhaps the real issue here is that the schools have not adequately explained what one is supposed to do if one encounters a deceased loved one.

    My gosh! These poor teens! They probably saw a movie on Joan of Arc and thought the proper thing to do was burn the child. You see? You see? SCHOOLS are FAILING our kids. And the Media! The poor kids saw this movie and they had no idea of any other course of action.

    You people are being so judgmental…

  • Mandy

    Well I would of stood up for her if any if us knew… But she didn’t tell anyone! Not even her family. Alright. So I would of took the baby from her and raised it considering I can’t even have kids… She knows I would of but she was scared and confused all right. I will stick up for her anytime because she was my best friend and always will be I might not like the decision she made. But I love her and care about her and her family. Alright. So I’m done commenting on here. I pray for her and her family everyday.. And even if she goes to prison. I will go visit her.. God forgives people and relieves them of their sins. I forgive and forget. Maybe her actions were wrongful but you remember we aren’t all perfect. And we all guck up and make mistakes sometimes. But Tasha is and always will be my best friend. I knew her before all this happen. It might change my perspective of her a bit but she never wronged me in anyway. Or harmed me in any way.. Also the report says nothing about her having any knowing of the corpse being burned or that she knew what he had done. So please let’s wait till the final autopsy comes out.. I rest my case now. Thank you.

  • ann

    “You can get 10 yrs for drugs but 4 for leaving a innocent little baby in a cave? Dead or alive it does not matter, then to burn it??”…..Missy, March 9 1:41pm. This is coming from a girl who claims to know more about the situation than anybody else. “but 4 leaving an innocent baby in a cave” sounds to me like the precious baby boy was LEFT …alive…in the cave. Children, if you are going to have unprotected sex,, you might get pregnant, and when you do…when the baby starts crying. trying to communicate to their parents..LEARN HOW TO TAKE CARE of the child. or give it up for adoption, to a friend, anyone because children, no matter crying or not, are precious. That was her SON! Her baby boy. She just left him in the cold. Crying..nobody to hold him in the cold night. come on…I hope she gets the death sentence.

  • dean

    Ok first of all anyone who is defending these two idiots are just as dumb as the ones who did this horrible thing. Since when does common sense not come in to play? Its very sad that all these people are making excuses for these idiots . The first response any normal human being
    would have is to call 911 if your child or anyone is hurt. no matter the reason for what happened. there is no excuse for pure stupidity. no one should feel sorry for the people who allowed this to happen. And burning a childs body. Regardless there is nothing that can excuse what they did. This is very disturbing to me. A life sentence is a light punishment for what they did.i personally feel they should be beaten to death. For anyone who has an issue with what ive said. this is simply my opinion. if you dont agree thats fine, your choice. But in my closing if this was someone in your family how would you feel? family or friend or just someone i know. i would feel the same disgust the same anger the same want for them to feel the same pain and slow death that child had to endure.

    • Misty

      YOU are ASSuming a lot. You don’t know HOW the baby died, how quickly or slowly it died, it may not have suffered and it may not have been murdered! Perhaps we should knOw the facts before finding two very young adults to death! There is a difference between malice and fear driven stupidity. You don’t know these people much less their mental state or capacity. There’s going to be more to this… I’m wondering what happened with her arraignment and why his charge isn’t appearing on Casenet…

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