CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The mother of an infant who was found dead inside a plastic container Tuesday could possibly undergo a psych evaluation while in custody, according to Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay L. Brooks.
The mother, Breanna Lewis, 19, has been charged with giving false information to law enforcement, desecration or removal of human remains, and destroying, altering, concealing or tampering with physical evidence following her false kidnapping report.
The Sheriff's Office said an autopsy of the 11-month-old girl, Harlee Lane Lewis, has been completed, but the official results of that autopsy are unavailable at this time. The results have been turned over to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
According to Sheriff Brooks, there were no visible marks on the baby's body or any evidence that could be seen with the naked eye that showed Harlee Lewis had been murdered. Her remains were found hidden inside a plastic bag in a plastic container about 1,000 yards from the home.
"The two officers that found this child are going to have to have counseling," Sheriff Brooks said.
Brooks said it's possible the infant died from natural causes.
Deputies were called to the home around 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 29 when Lewis said she was walking to check her mailbox in the 200 block of Daisey Lewis Lane when a tan and gold colored SUV stopped in the road. She said a man got out of the vehicle, punched her in the head several times, and grabbed her 11-month-old daughter.
An Amber Alert was issued just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, around the same time the baby's remains were found hidden behind the property. Investigators said Lewis admitted that she made the story up about the abduction, but refused to tell them how the baby came to be in the plastic bin.
The bruising on Lewis' face was the result of a recent car crash not an assault, deputies said.
"The only consolation to this case is that one, we found her quickly, and two, it assured my county that nobody was kidnapping kids off the side of the street," Sheriff Brooks said.
Lewis remains the prime suspect in this case.
During the news conference on Thursday, Sheriff Brooks speculated on Lewis' recent state of mind, stating she had witnessed the violent suicide of her husband last year when he reportedly shot himself in the head right in front of her.
"Lewis has stated traumatic experiences cause her to black out, and claims to have no recollection of when or how her child went missing," Sheriff Brooks said.
When searching the home Sheriff Brooks noted the lack of appropriate food in the house for an 11-month-old. He also noted Harlee Lewis was smaller that what you'd expect an infant of that age to be.
"When it's a child it just pulls at everybody's heart," Sheriff Brooks said.
Brooks said their next step is to have a judge order a psych evaluation on Lewis. Sheriff Brooks said the maternal grandmother has shown interest in covering the infant's funeral but has also debated on whether or not to use that money to post bond (in the future, if possible) for her daughter instead.
Lewis is currently being held at the Chesterfield County Detention Center on $71,000 bond.
Anyone with further information on this case is asked to call the Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office at (843) 623-2101.