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Authorities Search Crystal Backyard For Human Remains

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CRYSTAL, Minn. (WCCO) — Police in a Twin Cities suburb want to know if a baby is buried in the backyard of a home. So Thursday, they spent the day in Crystal digging up the yard of that home.

They’re also holding Duane and Tiffany Clark on suspicion of first-degree murder and manslaughter of an unborn child. It’s important to note that they’ve not been charged with a crime and they are only being held in the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion that they committed a crime.

Crystal Police were told the infant died three to five years ago at the couple’s home at 57th and Quail Avenue North. The commotion surrounding the home was certainly surprising for neighbors.

“We came home.  A cop car was parked in front there,” said neighbor Jerry Rowley. “Then the Crime Lab cars started to come, and that kind of shocked me a bit.  What’s going on here?”

What really got Rowley going was why police were at the home, under the suspicion a baby is buried in the backyard.

“I didn’t even know she was pregnant,” said Rowley.

He often saw two adults at the home along with two children, but he knew nothing about a possible third child.

Crystal Police investigators and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab Personnel started searching the property Wednesday, before actually digging it up on Thursday.

Crystal’s Police Chief won’t talk about the case on the phone or on camera.  Police will only say they learned of the possible death investigation during a domestic assault investigation at the home on Tuesday.

Police had to thaw the ground before they could dig, so they used a device that looks a lot like a barrel cut in half.  They put the barrel on the ground and stick a blow-torch inside to melt the ground.  They did this for more than 12 hours.

It’s been a slow search in the couple’s backyard. Authorities said Thursday they recovered what were possible human bones in the backyard of the home. The bones are being turned over to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner for further examination.

Even before he got to personally know the Clark’s, he knows all about the suspicion they’ve raised in what was once a quiet neighborhood.

“Yea!  Yea!  They’re real new in the neighborhood,” said Rowley.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office must file charges against Duane and Tiffay Clark by 4 p.m. Friday, or the couple will be released from jail.

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