Crime & Courts

Mother who made up abduction story about dead baby ID’d and charged, SC sheriff says

Harlee Lane Lewis
Harlee Lane Lewis

The South Carolina mother who reported that her baby was violently abducted from her Tuesday has been arrested after the infant's body was discovered, according to the sheriff's office.

The 11-month-old baby girl's body was found buried in a diaper box in a yard near the home, Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks said, according to The Associated Press.

The mother was arrested less than an hour after the baby's body was discovered by sheriff's deputies who saw the diaper box, and when they flipped it over saw a plastic bag with the baby's body, according to wbtv.com.

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Breanna Lewis

The mother has been identified as 19-year-old Breanna Lewis, who has been charged with filing a false police report, improper disposal of human remains and possibly more charges are pending, wsoctv.com reported.

Brooks said the sheriff's office believed the mother's story that she'd been assaulted because she had bruises on her face, which investigators later learned were from a wreck she was involved in Monday night, according to wpde.com.

The more the mother was questioned, the more her story unraveled, Brooks said.

The baby's cause of death has not been determined. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.

An Amber Alert was issued for Harlee Lane Lewis shortly before the baby was discovered.

Brooks has since canceled the alert, "because we don't think there was a kidnapping."

The mother admitted to making up the story about baby being abducted, wltx.com reported.

The baby's mother originally said she was checking her mailbox on Jackson Road East at about 2 p.m. Tuesday when a tan and gold SUV stopped in the middle of the road, WCCB reported.

Authorities say the mother told them that a thin white male, described as about 6-foot-2 with a beard, got out of the van and punched her in the head several times, WBTV reported. He then took the baby, according to the original reports.

The Chesterfield County Sheriff's Office, the FBI and SLED are investigating the case.

AMBER, Blue and Silver Alerts are used by local law enforcement to notify the public that someone has gone missing. Here’s what you need to know about what each color code means.

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