A North Carolina sheriff said an infant survived after being thrown down a ravine by her mother, saying the child’s survival was “by the grace of God.”
Krista Madden, 35, of Asheville, is accused of attempting to kill her 7-week-old baby by throwing the child down the ravine. The child was still strapped to the car seat, said Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin in a news conference.
The baby, Shaylie Madden, was found on May 9 after dropping about 75 feet, Griffin noted. The child and the car seat were located near one another, Fox News reported.
“It’s my understanding that she is in very good condition,” Fox quoted the sheriff as saying.
Griffin said that Madden faked the girl’s kidnapping.
“At this point, we don’t believe that (her story) to be factual at all. None of that,” he told WYFF.
Madden had reported that she and her 7-week-old were kidnapped along Dearborn Street in Biltmore Park. She said two suspects wearing ski masks were in a 2014 Mazda CX-5 with North Carolina license number, EMX-5984.
But, he said, “All indications lead us to believe that she was the one and she acted alone,” Griffin said, referring to Madden.
The sheriff said that two hours after Madden was found, her daughter was located, Fox Carolina reported.
Courtney Fowler, a passerby, said she and her father found the girl after hearing her cries.
“He backed the car up, and at that point, I had saw the car seat. The car seat was down over the bank,” Fowler told Fox Carolina. “I couldn’t see the baby but I saw the car seat. He went down over the bank and got the car seat and the baby, and he brought it up the bank to me, then I held it and then my mom held it.”
Vehicle has been located in Henderson County. We are still searching for the missing child. Described as a 7-week old female, goes by the name of Shaylie. Last seen wearing a pink onesie w/horizontal white stripes. pic.twitter.com/s2NqD55tR8
— Asheville Police (@AshevillePolice) May 9, 2019
“I just thought it was a baby,” she added. “My dog started barking, which usually means a car is coming up the driveway. When I looked out over into the porch, I saw dust and the glimpse of a grey car. When I got up to walk back to the back of the house, there was nobody here. But I do remember seeing some kind of vehicle come up our driveway.”
Fowler said she is relieved the child will be fine. However, the experience left her shaken.
“It just felt surreal. It felt like an out-of-body experience, like I was in a movie,” she told the Fox affiliate. “I’m still kind of in shock from it all.”
#FINALUPDATE: Last evening @SheriffHCSO charged Krista Noelle Madden, the mother of baby Shaylie, with 1st Deg Attempted Murder. APD will assist HCSO in their investigation moving forward. pic.twitter.com/9xF3xIggyY
— Asheville Police (@AshevillePolice) May 10, 2019
Fowler noted that she works as a nurse, and her instincts kicked in.
“When I first saw the baby, my nurse instinct kind of kicked in, but then a mother instinct kicked in. It was rewarding to hold that baby and know it was going to be okay. I think that everything happens for a reason, and that we were at the right place at the right time tonight,” she explained.
Madden is now being held on $750,000.