Va. Beach Man Gets Five Years for Hiding Body of Baby Who Died In His Care

The girl's mother left the baby in Smith's care after she was jailed

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012  |  Updated 9:51 AM EDT
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5 Years for Man Who Hid Dead Baby

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A Virginia Beach man will spend five years in prison for hiding the body of a baby girl who died in his care.

Media outlets report that Circuit Court Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. sentenced 33-year-old Lawrence Ray Smith Jr. on Wednesday, telling Smith he would have put him away longer if possible.

Smith pleaded guilty April 3 to hiding the body of 11-month-old Janyiha Whiteman, who died while in his care in October. He hid the girl's body in a stroller in an Oceanfront parking garage, where no one discovered it for nearly three weeks. By then, the body was too badly decomposed for a cause of death to be determined.

Police say the mother left the girl in Smith's care after she was jailed for a parole violation.

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