The body of a missing 18-month-old girl has been found on creek bank after her mother showed up at someone's house and said she left the girl there.
Several dozen volunteers with flashlights had searched the area, and sadly one of them found the girl's body just past a bean field near the Black Water River bank.
The Saline County Sheriff's Department started the search for the toddler after the girl's mother appeared at a home disoriented. Authorities had been looking for Lydia Iliff since Thursday morning after her possible involvement in a stolen pickup.
The pickup was found abandoned in a wheat field about noon Thursday in Saline County, MO. Officers were unable to find anyone around the truck.
Authorities were then contacted by the family of the mother and informed officers they had been unable to locate her and her 18-month-old daughter with her. The family was concerned because the woman had not taken her medication.
Officers then searched of the area where the pickup was located Saturday morning and again could not find anyone.
The sheriff's department was then contacted by someone who said that Iliff had shown up at their house about 11:30 p.m. Saturday and was extremely disoriented. They told authorities that she did not have her child with her, but she remembered leaving her daughter on a creek bank.
Authorities then asked for volunteers to assist in searching for the child. About 40 people helped in the search. Volunteers located the child's body near the river bank about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.
Authorities are still investigating the child's death and will be sending reports to the Saline County prosecuting attorney on Monday for his review.
Tina Vaughn said she was shocked to find the naked woman at her door step about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. She said the woman was disheveled and wanted to use her phone to reach her mother.
Vaughn gave her towels to cover her body. She also gave her glasses of ice water because the woman said she was dehydrated after drinking such pond water.
"Her hair was a mess. She had mud and cuts all over her," Vaughn said.
Iliff told Vaughn that her baby was alive when she sat her down.
"She walked away and the baby started to cry," Vaughn said. "She tried to find her way back to the baby, but couldn't find her."
Vaughn said the woman was distressed about her child.
"She was very worried about her. She had to find her. She couldn't remember where she left her or anything," Vaughn said. "She kept saying that she set her down and had to go find her. And she'd get real upset."
The group was quiet when they discovered the body, one of the volunteers said.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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