Mother in custody, search continues for father after two-year-old found dead

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FOREST, Miss. (AP) — A 2-year-old girl has been found dead in an abandoned pickup truck in central Mississippi, and authorities were searching for her father. The family is from North Carolina and was traveling through Mississippi on I-20.

The girl’s 7-year-old sibling has been taken into protective custody after being found by hunters near Tanglewood Road on Saturday. The 2-year-old was identified as Jeanna Sue Harrison.

Scott Count Sheriff Mike Lee said authorities were searching for James Harrison Jr., who is the father of the younger child and stepfather of the older one. Harrison was last seen on Friday and appeared to be delusional, according to a resident of the area who spoke to him. Lee said he may have been suffering from hypothermia.

The resident told investigators Harrison never asked for help and said he was looking for his girlfriend. Harrison is also a type 1 diabetic and is without medicine. His cell phone has not been on since Thursday.

Lee says Harrison and the two children were reported missing Friday by the children’s mother. She told deputies that she last saw her family Thursday after an argument with Harrison.

The mother, Amy Harrison, said she got out of the truck at a gas station in the town of Lake. Investigators are trying to find out why she waited a day to report her family missing.

Lee said authorities were searching for Harrison in Scott and Newton counties. Amy Harrison is in custody at the Scott County Sheriff’s Office for charges of child neglect.

According to Scott County coroner Van Thames, the 2-year-old died from hypothermia. There was no foul play.

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