SCOTT COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT/AP/WBTV) – 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 the custody of the Department of Human Services and is living with a deputy and his family at this time, deputies say, but the search is still on to find James Harrison.
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.
Scott County officials say Amy Harrison then got out of the vehicle around exit 100 and called a friend from Greenville, Mississippi to pick her up.
The next day, she contacted both the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office to report that she had not heard from her husband.
Amy Harrison has since been arrested.
Saturday, January 23, both children were found by hunters off the road in a wooded area, but only the seven-year-old was alive.
Sheriff Lee told WLBT the 2-year-old girl found in the truck possibly died of exposure, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of the death.
James Harrison was last seen Thursday and witnesses said he seemed disoriented. Scott County officials say he appeared to be delusional according to a nearby resident.
The resident told investigators the father never asked for help but only said he was looking for his girlfriend.
Deputies say James Harrison is a type one diabetic and is without medicine.
Based on their investigation, detectives have reason to believe James Harrison may also have been suffering from hypothermia.
His cell phone has not been on since Thursday, January 21, officials say.
Harrison is the father of the 2-year-old child and stepfather of the 7-year-old.
Anyone who sees Harrison or has information on his whereabouts should call 911.
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