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Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 2:43pm
Escanaba, MI (Daily Press) — Officials in Texas and New Mexico are piecing together evidence related to the death of an El Paso baby whose parents were arrested in Escanaba, Michigan on probation and AWOL charges this past weekend.
The body of five-month-old Jackson Farrey was located buried in a desert area in Orogrande, New Mexico, according to police authorities, who made the announcement on Wednesday. The child and his family were reported missing Friday from their El Paso home, where the family's landlord alleges they left behind a suicide note.
Jackson's parents - Jeffrey Farrey, 22, and Jenna Farrey, 20, - were arrested Sunday in Escanaba, where police located them and their 19-month-old son, Blake, at the Eagle's Nest Motel. Blake was placed under the care of the local Child Protective Services.
Jenna Farrey was lodged in jail on a charge of being a fugitive of justice for violating her probation on a 2012 conviction for abandoning a child with intent to return. Her five-year probation sentence did not allow her to leave the state.
During a proceeding in Delta County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Jenna Farrey waived her right to an extradition hearing, giving El Paso authorities the right to take custody of her. In the meantime, she remains lodged in Delta County Jail.
Jenna Farrey was awaiting an extradition hearing to be scheduled in district court. She opted to waive her right to a hearing Wednesday during a proceeding in circuit court. Circuit Court Judge Stephen Davis presided over the case in the absence of District Court Judge Glenn Pearson.
Following the court's approval of the waiver, Jenna Farrey questioned her court-appointed attorney, Don LeMire, about what's going to happen with her car and her personal belongings.
Assistant Prosecutor Philip Strom informed her attorney that law enforcement is holding those items as evidence which may be returned to her at a later date.
Jeffrey Farrey was lodged in jail Sunday on a federal military charge of being absent without leave from Fort Bliss Army Base where he is an army specialist.
According to Delta County Prosecutor Steve Parks, he said it is his understanding that Jeffrey Farrey was released Tuesday to the custody of military authorities on an AWOL arrest warrant.
The public affairs office at Fort Bliss did not return a call from the Daily Press requesting information on the status of the soldier.
According to El Paso police spokesman Darrel Petry, law enforcement found the remains of a child believed to be Jackson Farrey, the missing son of Jenna and Jeffrey Farrey, on Wednesday. The body was buried in a desert in Orogrande, New Mexico, about 50 miles from El Paso.
Law enforcement had been searching the desert area since Tuesday night. The child's body was said to have been found buried in a culvert about one quarter mile west of Highway U.S. 54.
About a dozen local, state, and federal agencies were involved in the search for the child including the FBI, El Paso Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Otero County Sheriff Department, New Mexico State Police, and U.S. Border Patrol.