South

Baby found dead, teen mom admits lying about child's kidnapping, SC sheriff says

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - The mother of a baby that was reported missing Tuesday has been taken into custody as the primary suspect in connection with the kidnapping and death of the child.

The mother told officials the 11-month-old was stolen out of her arms on the side of the road in Chesterfield County, officials said. The baby was found dead just two hours later, according to the sheriff's office.

Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks says the mother of the child told deputies she made up the story about the child being abducted. There was no man who kidnapped her baby, Brooks said. 

The incident happened around 2 p.m. Tuesday on Jackson Road east of Chesterfield. The 19-year-old mother told deputies she was walking to her mailbox carrying her daughter when a man in a gold and tan SUV pulled up and jumped out of the vehicle.

The mother described the man as a thin white male, around 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a beard. He was wearing a toboggan, a black coat, and one black glove. 

The woman said the man then punched her several times in the head, took the baby and drove away.

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Sheriff Jay Brooks said just after 4 p.m. that the girl, identified as Harlee Lane Lewis, was found deceased "hidden inside a diaper box" in a field about 1,000 yards from the home. There is no word on how she may have died.

Other family members along with the mother are being questioned.

SLED and the FBI are assisting with the case.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office at 843-623-2101 or 911 immediately.
 

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