Media Archive

Milo man ordered to pay $2,000 fine in corpse-burning case

Article from Bangor Daily News, Thursday, June 08, 2006

By Judy Harrison
Staff Writer

DOVER-FOXCROFT - A Milo man who originally was accused of abusing a corpse two years ago was ordered on Tuesday to pay the maximum fine after he pleaded guilty in Piscataquis County Superior Court to destroying evidence

Ralph Disley, 47, faced up to a year in prison and $2,000 fine.

Maine State Police more than two years ago began an investigation into the remains of a badly burned infant found at Disley's Lyford Road home.

The remains of the infant were recovered on April 2, 2004, from a pile of burned debris in the backyard. Also living at the residence at the time was Disley's wife, Kelly, and their two teenage daughters.

Police began the investigation after they received a tip from a resident who reported what he believed were the remains of an infant on the Disley property. When police arrived at Disley's home, they found the homeowner allegedly burning the infant's body in his backyard.

His property was secured until the remains were removed and taken to the state medical examiner's office in Augusta.

The state medical examiner was unable to determine whether the infant was born alive or its gender, Assistant Attorney General William Stokes said Wednesday. It also was never determined if the baby was related to someone living in the house.

"Given the limitations of the evidence, I think it's the best outcome we could have since we were never able to determine forensically whether the infant was born alive or not," Stokes, who heads the criminal division in the Maine Attorney General's Office, said Wednesday. "What we know is that an infant's remains were found in a burn pile."

The remains appeared to be full term or close to full term, Stokes said.

"Obviously, those remains were physical evidence," he said. "Disley knew or should have known that law enforcement would want to investigate further.

"As a result of his conduct, we were unable to do anything forensically to determine whether the child took a breath," Stokes said.

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NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.