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The Great Smoky Mountain Journal

Tuesday, January 01, 2019 03:01 PM

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South Carolina 11-Month Old Found Dead Inside Diaper Box After False Amber Alert

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. -- A sheriff in South Carolina said an 11-month-old girl was found dead after her disappearance sparked an Amber Alert. Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks told The Associated Press he now thinks there wasn't a kidnapping at all, and CBS affiliate WBTV reported the child's mother has been named a prime suspect.

Brooks said the child, Harlee Lewis, was found dead inside a diaper box around 4 p.m. Tuesday. The body was found in a field about 1,000 yards behind a home in Chesterfield. WBTV reported she had been reported missing by the mother about two hours earlier.

Brooks said Harlee's mother first reported that someone attacked her and stole the child from her arms as she checked the mail Tuesday afternoon. She told deputies that a man in an SUV pulled up, jumped out of his vehicle, attacked her, took her daughter and fled the scene, reported CBS affiliate WLTX. She reportedly described the suspect as a white man wearing a hat, coat and a single black glove.

WBTV reported charges had not been filed as of Tuesday afternoon but the woman was reportedly in custody.

Brooks wouldn't give details on what investigators really think happened, but he said, "we canceled the Amber Alert because we don't think there was a kidnapping."