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Maine man is fined for burning body of infant

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine -- A Milo man who burned the body of an infant on his property has ended the case by paying a $2,000 fine.

Ralph Disley, 47, pleaded guilty to falsifying evidence, and no additional charges will be filed against him, prosecutors said.

Acting on a tip, police found Disley burning the infant's remains in a debris pile behind his home on April 2, 2004.

The state medical examiner was unable to determine whether the boy was born alive, so the state could not bring homicide charges, said William Stokes, chief of the criminal division of the attorney general's office.

``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 said.

Prosecutors were left with few options after a charge of abuse of a corpse against Disley was thrown out because a detective missed a court date.

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.

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

Authorities determined the identity of the parents but declined to release their names.

By burning the body, Disley eliminated evidence needed for an investigation, he said.

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