BLACKSBURG, Va. -- A Virginia man will be tried a second time on a charge of concealing a body that's never been found.
Christopher Terry is accused of burying a missing 3-month-old girl in a shallow grave, based on a confession police said he gave, recanted and then gave again. The baby's mother also has told multiple versions of what might have happened to Arieanna Day, even claiming that the little girl is still alive somewhere. No one has been charged with killing her.
But a Montgomery County judge ruled Wednesday that Terry will be tried again in April after a jury deadlocked in September.
Arieanna disappeared from her mother's Roanoke home in September 2018, but the circumstances surrounding the case have been riddled with inconsistencies, The Roanoke Times reported. Terry referred to the baby as his daughter in recorded police interviews, but Terry's defense attorney said he didn't even know if that was true.
Terry first told investigators that the baby seemed injured when he picked her up from her mother’s apartment, and that she died in his lap as he drove home to Blacksburg. He said he stopped outside town, scooped out a shallow grave near railroad tracks and left the child there, recordings played in court revealed.
Terry recanted that confession after nothing was found in a search of the alleged location, but confessed again to investigators a day later, the newspaper reported.
Arieanna’s mother, Jessica Day, has also told police variously that her baby died from being smothered after they fell asleep together, that the girl was given to a relative, that she was kidnapped by an adoption agency and that she was injured in a fall.
Ahead of the first trial, Day called Terry's attorney and claimed Arieanna was actually alive.