Searchers find body of 5-month-old baby whose mom left her in a creek
Searchers have found the body of the five-month-old baby girl who was left in a South Carolina creek by her mother, police said.
Divers found the body of little Grace at about 3:45 p.m., Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes said at a news conference on Thursday.
Following the heart-breaking discovery, more than a dozen rescuers gathered in a circle to pray, while some of them wiped their eyes, the Associated Press reported.
"All of us have a sense of peace knowing we can lay her to rest properly," Rhodes said.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine how the little girl died. Searchers had used special sonar equipment, along with boats, canoes and personal watercraft to look for her over two days.
On Tuesday, the baby's mother, Sarah Lane Toney, was found on a woman's porch close to the water. She told the woman she had put her baby into the creek, police said.
Toney was taken into custody and charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. Her older daughter was turned over to the girl's father.
At her bond hearing, Toney asked if the baby had been found.
"I went into the water with her, and I was unable to hold on to her," Toney said at the hearing. "I didn't intentionally put her in any danger. I was going with her, and I wasn't able to hold on to her when the water sucked me in."
Rhodes said she expects Toney to face charges in her daughter's death.
Neighbors said Toney kept mostly to herself. Kayle White said she saw Toney pushing the baby around the neighborhood in a stroller, but they never spoke, the AP reported.
"She'd walk up and down the street, but I've never seen that baby up close," White said.