Abandoned baby found alive, brother found dead

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A Louisiana sheriff says a 1-year-old “miracle baby” survived two days of sometimes stormy weather before a truck driver spotted him crawling along the side of the road a day after his 4-year-old brother was found dead and his mother was arrested in Mississippi.

What you need to know

  • A 1-year-old was found crawling along the side of a Louisiana road
  • A truck driver called 911 after seeing the child, who had survived two days of stormy weather
  • His 4-year-old brother had been found dead on Monday. He had last been seen with his mother Aaliyah Jack, 25, and the 1-year-old
  • Jack was arrested and faced a charge of failure to report a missing child

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Gary “Stitch” Guillory said the child had numerous insect bites but otherwise appeared to be in good condition.

Autopsy reports were pending on the 4-year-old who was found Monday, Guillory said during a news conference Tuesday in Lake Charles, about 200 miles west of New Orleans. The body had been found in a lake behind a welcome center on Interstate 10 near the Texas state line.

Authorities investigating the 4-year-old’s death learned he was last seen Saturday with his mother, Aaliyah Jack, 25, of Lake Charles, and the 1-year-old.

Fearing the 1-year-old was dead, authorities prepared Tuesday morning to search the water where the dead child was found. Then a truck driver called 911 after seeing the child.

“We look at this 1-year-old as our miracle baby because he was still alive,” said a visibly moved Guillory.

Hurricane Beryl had hit East Texas early Monday, and the search for the child unfolded amid bands of intermittent, heavy rain and gusty winds.

“This kid spent two days out in the weather on the side of the highway,” Guillory said. “Thank goodness the truck driver saw him.”

A law enforcement alert was issued for Jack Monday night, and a Louisiana judge issued an arrest warrant. Jack was arrested in Meridian, Mississippi, more than 350 miles from where her child was found. Meridian police said she was arrested sometime Tuesday.

“She was located in Mississippi, without the 1-year-old, by the Meridian Police Department and taken into custody,” the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office said. The search for the baby continued until the truck driver reported seeing a baby in a ditch along Interstate 10. “When deputies arrived, they were able to positively identify the child as the missing 1-year-old,” the sheriff’s press release said.

She was to be extradited to Louisiana, where she faced a charge of failure to report a missing child. The judge who issued the warrant set the bond at $300,000, Guillory said.

Kayla Vincent, sheriff’s spokeswoman, said no other charges were pending Wednesday afternoon and the investigation is continuing.

Online booking information was not available Wednesday. It was unclear if Jack had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

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