A Campbell County, Tennessee, woman appeared in court on Thursday where she pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse, child neglect and child endangerment charges, after she left her toddler in a hog pen in the woods.
WBIR reports that Virginia Cora-Lee Seal, of Jacksboro, was high on methamphetamine in October 2015, when she gave her 2-year-old son to “a man in a blue fireman’s jacket with her dad’s voice.” Once she heard what she thought was her dad’s voice, she left the toddler behind.
On the morning of October 9, 2015, police were called to the Wagging Tails Pet Resort in Jacksboro after employees reported hearing a young child crying in the woods. When authorities searched a wooded area close to the pet resort, they found the toddler in patch of brambles that was once used as a hog pen. A pit bull dog was standing outside the area where the child found, and appeared to be protecting the boy.
“It was maybe protecting it like it was its little baby. It followed us up there where we held the baby until the police came,” said Waggin Tails employee Kristin Dutton. “If that pit bull would not have been there our dogs wouldn’t have been barking at it, so we might never have found the kid.”
According to authorities, the little boy was wearing a diaper only and holding a pink blanket in 45-degree weather. He had cuts and bruises on him and was taken to the Department of Child Services for medical treatment.
“I think it was about 45 [degrees],” Dutton said. “I know that we wouldn’t even leave our dogs out in that weather so I couldn’t imagine a little kid being out in that weather.”
A man called authorities shortly after the child was found and said the boy was likely his grandson. Authorities found Seal at home off of Ridenour Lane. She told them that “there was a lot of people here last night and something went wrong.”
Seal admitted that she was using meth when she left her son behind. She said she later “hoped it was her dad” that she left the boy with.
After her guilty plea, Seal was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Authorities said that the pit bull bull belonged to Seal’s neighbor. He asked Seal to watch the dog while he was out town. The protective pup, who knew the toddler previously, spent the night with the toddler in the woods.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]