CHESTERFIELD, S.C. — A young mother accused of lying about the abduction of her daughter who was later found dead is now facing a murder charge.
According to online court records, 19-year-old Breanna Denise Lewis is charged with murder/homicide by child abuse.
Records show she was arrested June 8 and the case was filed June 11 and that the charge carries a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
Lewis called 911 on May 29 to report that she had been assaulted and her 11-month-old baby, Harlee Lane Lewis, had been kidnapped by a man driving a gold-colored SUV while she was checking the mailbox on Daisy Lewis Lane near Chesterfield, according to court documents.
While some Chesterfield County sheriff’s deputies were searching for the vehicle — and the Anson and Scotland County sheriff’s offices had been alerted — investigators continued to question Lewis. They say her story began to change and eventually admitted to lying about the assault and kidnapping and said the bruising on her face was the result of a recent wreck, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies searching near the home found the body of a child — later identified as Harlee — wrapped in a bag and hidden inside a diaper box about 1,000 yards from the home. They say she had probably been dead about six hours before the 911 call was made.
An autopsy was performed in Newberry, South Carolina, and deputies say preliminary results showed no signs of trauma. However, investigators said they were concerned about the amount of food in the house and that the child looked small for her age.
Search warrants were executed at the home in South Carolina and at a home officers say she was renting in Rockingham.
Lewis was initially charged with giving false information to law enforcement; desecration or removal of human remains; and destroying, altering, concealing or tampering with physical evidence.
WPDE-TV reports that Lewis’ attorney Matt Swilley filed a motion for a gag order on June 7, which was granted by a circuit court judge.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.