'It's an officer's nightmare:' Mother charged after baby found dead in diaper box in Chesterfield County

'It's an officer's nightmare:' Mother charged after baby found dead in diaper box in Chesterfield County
Harlee Lewis (Source: S.C. Law Enforcement Division )
Harlee Lewis (Source: S.C. Law Enforcement Division )

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The 19-year-old mother who initially told Chesterfield County deputies her baby was abducted has been charged with filing a false police report just hours after the 11-month-old child's body was found, according to Sheriff Jay Brooks.

According to Brooks, the mother has been identified as Breanna Lewis.

He added an autopsy for Harlee Jane Lewis is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Additional charges against the child's mother could be forthcoming based on the results of the autopsy.

According to WMBF's sister station WBTV, the investigation began around 2 p.m. Tuesday on Jackson Road east of Chesterfield. Officials say the mother told deputies she was carrying her daughter while walking to her mailbox. The suspect said it was then that a man in a gold and tan SUV pulled up and jumped out of the vehicle.

Lewis said the man then punched her several times in the head, took the baby and drove away.

Deputies said she later told officials she made the story up.

"There was not an abduction. There was not an assault. That was a made-up story," Brooks said.

According to the sheriff, just after 4 p.m., the 1-year-old girl, identified as Harlee Lane Lewis, was found deceased "hidden inside a diaper box" in a field about 1,000 yards from the home. There is no word on how she may have died.

"It's an officer's nightmare," Brooks said.

People who live nearby are shaken up by the baby's death.

"That's ridiculous," Barbara Funderburke said. "They'll handle her for that, lying about it. Because who would do something like that to an innocent baby? It didn't ask to be born and it didn't ask to be mistreated."

Brooks said this type of scenario is awful for deputies to go through and they may need counseling soon after such a horrific case.

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