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Body of baby found at home 17 months after death, parents in court

The story dates back to October of 2016 when the baby was born at a Hicksville home at 5414 Arrowsmith Road. The baby died within 10 hours later.

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 1:11 PM

DEFIANCE COUNTY, Ohio. (WFFT)- A Hicksville couple arrested this week in connection to a baby boy's death faced a judge in Defiance County Friday morning.

The story dates back to October of 2016 when the baby was born at a Hicksville home at 5414 Arrowsmith Road. The baby died within 10 hours later.

This week the baby boy's body was found by police at the home, 17 months later.

Jared and Sarah Stark are both facing felony charges for endangering a child. Jared Stark is also facing a charge for abusing a corpse. His bond was set at $125,000, while her's is set at $100,000.

The Defiance County sheriff called the case one of the most unique child deaths he's seen in 30 years. Police and the town of Hicksville are shaken up.

"They're very good people.. very very good Christian people, and I was shocked," said Martha Lengacher. Lengacher said she knows the Starks.

Sheriff Doug Engel doesn't know what to make of the case, but believes an investigation will put all the pieces into place.

"Yes, we don't understand why they didn't do certain things, and that's why they're obviously being charged criminally with the charges that they are," Engel said.

Engel said no one reported the case to police until March 28. They found the baby's body the next afternoon.

"This one's unique just because of the background behind it and the cause, and the reasons," he said.

They're reasons Engel said can't be revealed until after an autopsy is completed.

Stark said, "I loved that little fella... If I could go back and do things differently, I would."

Still, Hicksville is left with questions. How did the baby die? And why?

One woman who did not want to be identified said the whole thing could be a misunderstanding.

"They might just be a natural family, back to the earth kind of thing and it's an innocent thing... If it's the family I think it is, they seem to be a really sweet family," she said.

The Starks will be back in court in Defiance Monday morning. More charges are expected to be filed. Tune into FOX 55 on air and online for updates on this story.

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