By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Authorities found the body of an infant in the Draper area Thursday night, but couldn’t confirm whether it is that of five-month-old Cory Samuel Cole, who was last seen with his father in Pulaski around 7 p.m. Monday.
In a press conference near the crime scene, off Draper Valley Road (service road F-064), Pulaski County Sheriff Jim Davis confirmed investigators were “in the process of recovering an infant child body fitting the size and description” of Cory said Roche.
“The body we have been looking for is identical to the one that we’ve discovered,” the sheriff said. The active search in Draper began around 4 p.m. Thursday, but authorities wouldn’t say what led them to that area to look for the infant.
Davis declined to discuss the condition of the body.
“We’ll be here for probably a considerable while longer. This is just the beginning of this investigation,” said Pulaski Police Chief Gary Roche. “We’ll be here until the job is done,” he added, calling the investigation a “team effort.”
Positive identification of the body found Thursday is pending an autopsy.
Cory’s father, Howard Samuel Cole, was arrested Thursday morning on a child abuse charge filed earlier this week. No other charges had been filed as of Thursday night.
Davis said the investigation has been going “full throttle” since authorities learned of an incident in which Howard Cole allegedly had abused Cory. Roche has declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the abuse charge.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office took Howard Cole into custody around 10:30 a.m. Thursday in an area behind the Fairlawn Walmart. Cole wasn’t at a residence or in a car at the time and Roche said he doesn’t believe Cole gave officers any trouble during the arrest.
Although Cole did have “some kind of custody arrangement” with the child’s mother, Roche said he wasn’t certain of the details.
Authorities received a report Wednesday accusing the father of having abused his son Sunday. A felony warrant was obtained for Howard Cole and a search for him and the infant ensued.
Police searched Cole’s residence on Crestline Drive Wednesday night.