Monday 22 January 2018

Savannah’s tragedy: Girl (9) is ‘run to death’ as punishment for eating a chocolate bar

Savannah Hardin, Jessica Mae Hardin and Joyce Hardin Garrard
Savannah Hardin, Jessica Mae Hardin and Joyce Hardin Garrard reporters

THE STEPMOTHER and grandmother of a nine-year-old American girl have been placed under arrest following the death of the child, who police say was forced to run for three hours solid as punishment for lying over eating a bar of chocolate.

Neighbour Roger Simpson said he saw a little girl running outside her home but didn't give it another thought. Police say he witnessed a murder in progress.

They say that Alabama schoolgirl Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for lying to her grandmother.

Severely dehydrated, the child had a seizure and died days later. Now, her grandmother and stepmother face murder charges.

Her stepmother Jessica Mae Hardin (27) went into labour and gave birth after her arrest. She is expected to be charged with murder when she is released from hospital.

Hardin’s mother-in-law and Savannah’s paternal grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard (46) is in jail after being arrested and charged with murder.

Witnesses told deputies Savannah was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman in Etowah County, Alabama, US, said.

Her stepmother called police that evening, telling them Savannah was having a seizure and was unresponsive.

Savannah Hardin died on Monday, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. The sheriff's release said an autopsy report showed the girl was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.

The sheriff's office received calls from concerned citizens who witnessed the girl running.

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