CHESTERFIELD, S.C. — A young mother is facing criminal charges after the Chesterfield County Sheriff says she lied about her daughter, who was later found dead, being kidnapped.
Breanna Lewis, 19, told deputies that she was walking down a lane to her mailbox on Jackson Road Tuesday afternoon when a tan and gold SUV stopped in the middle of the road, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. She said a white man about 6 feet, 2 inches tall wearing a black coat, toboggan and one black glove got out, punched her, took her 11-month-old child and left.
When deputies arrived on scene around 2 p.m., they say Lewis had “severe bruising” on her face. She allegedly told deputies she had never seen the suspect before.
An Amber Alert was issued, with the sheriff’s office enlisting help from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division and FBI to assist in finding the missing girl.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies began searching the area for clues and found the body of an infant inside a diaper box about 1,000 yards from the home.
“It is upsetting for us all,” Sheriff Jay Brooks told WSOC-TV. “You dread these, you never forget ‘em, you never forget the sight of a dead child.”
Lewis was taken into custody as a suspect and was questioned, along with other family members. Deputies later identified the infant as Lewis’ “missing” daughter, Harlee Lane Lewis.
Brooks told WSOC that as Lewis was telling her story a second time, it “started unravelling, things just weren’t adding up.”
Lewis was arrested and charged with filing a false report. She was charged Wednesday with improper disposal of human remains. Both charges are felonies. She remains a suspect in her daughter’s death and his being held at the Chesterfield County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.
An autopsy was performed Wednesday in Newberry, South Carolina, but results were not released.
The sheriff has scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference at his office Thursday.
The Daily Journal confirmed Wednesday that Lewis previously attended Richmond Senior High School and briefly worked at the Rockingham Lowe’s.
All suspects facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.