FOREST, Miss. (AP/WAPT) — A Mississippi sheriff says a 2-year-old North Carolina girl has been found dead after she and her 7-year-old brother were abandoned in a pickup truck.
Authorities were searching for her father, and have charged the mother with neglect. The boy is in protective custody.
Scott County Sheriff Mike Lee tells WAPT-TV that James Harrison Jr. and Amy Harrison of Salisbury, North Carolina, were traveling through Mississippi with the children on Thursday when the couple argued near the town of Lake.
Lee says the mother got out of their vehicle.
Scott County Coroner Van Thames tells ABC affiliate WAPT that the father abandoned the children in the vehicle and, at some point, the children were able to walk away from the truck but got separated. The older child approached a hunter in the woods near Tanglewood Road asking for help, sparking a search by law enforcement.
Deputies found the truck the family was traveling in located off the road in a wooded area.
A search of the area was conducted and the 2-year-old girl was found dead a short time later from what appears to be hypothermia. An autopsy will determine the official cause of death.
Amy Harrison is in custody at the Scott County Sheriff’s Office for charges of child neglect.
According to Thames, the mother did not report her children missing with their father for an extended period of time and they are still investigating the bizarre timeline of events that occurred.