UPDATE: Bond set for mother arrested in infant's murder

UPDATE: Bond set for mother arrested in infant's murder
Published: May. 29, 2018 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2018 at 7:23 PM CDT
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Tyra Neal (Source: Poinsett County Sheriff's Office)
Tyra Neal (Source: Poinsett County Sheriff's Office)

POINSETT COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Poinsett County Sheriff's Office is investigating the murder of an infant.

According to Sheriff Kevin Molder, 25-year-old Tyra Neal has been arrested in the case. Neal is the mother of the one-month-old victim.

"Any time an infant child is involved it's very hard for law enforcement officers," Sheriff Kevin Molder said. "They go home at night and it's not something they forget."

Neal is facing charges of second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.

A $1 million cash-only bond was set on Thursday when Neal made her first court appearance.

Molder said deputies responded to a home on Ritch Road in Pitts near the Craighead and Jackson County line on Tuesday around 3 p.m.

The sheriff said his office originally arrested the father of the infant, but he was later released.

An arrest was made, charges were filed, and a court appearance happened all within the first three days of the investigation.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Poinsett County Detective William Holmes said in court that Neal initially told investigators that a two-year-old had placed the baby in a dryer.

However, Holmes said Neal later told authorities that she may have placed the child in scalding water because the child had diarrhea and that Neal became scared and put the child into the dryer, the AP reported.

Sheriff Molder said the immediate response of Arkansas State Police was critical in making such huge progress so quickly.

"They have been instrumental in moving us forward," Molder said. "Our investigators have been working closely with them and that's the reason we moved so quickly with it."

Molder said the cause of death has yet to be determined.

Neal was ordered to appear in court again on July 31.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.