A mother was charged with concealing a body after police say she drove for two days with her daughter’s dead body in the car.
Witnesses say they saw the mother drag her 11-year-old’s dead body into the woods after she hit a guard rail while traveling through West Virginia, the New York Post reports.
Erica Newsome, 37, told police she was bringing her daughter, Kaye-lea Plummer, to the girl’s father in Buffalo, New York.
Just got off the phone with 11-year-old Kaye-Lea's father. Says Erica Newsome was calling him along the trip acting like everything was OK. pic.twitter.com/CbwHVvf1Ni
— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) August 8, 2017
According to State Police Sgt. Herby Barlow, it was clear that the girl did not die from the car accident. A couple traveling down the same highway told police they saw Newsome take the body from her vehicle and begin dragging it over a hill. The 37-year-old was found with the body on an old logging road about 150 from an embankment.
The girl’s father, Donath Plummer, said that he and Newsome were married in 20o7 but were separated just two years later. In 2014, Newsome moved to Jacksonville, Florida with Kaye-Lea, and the father said he hadn’t seen either of them since, but he regularly checked in his daughter via telephone.
Plummer said he received a text from Newsome Sunday night saying she was bringing his daughter to him in Buffalo. He told police that Newsome sent additional text messages during the trip, acting like everything was fine.
The sheriff’s office in Florida believes the death occurred in Jacksonville, and that Kaye-lea’s death was no accident.
“At this time, foul play is suspected in the child’s death and we believe the death occurred in Jacksonville, Florida.”
Plummer said that Newsome was a good mother who would never hurt her daughter. He believes that if she did, then something is terribly wrong with her and she needs to be helped.
“We didn’t always agree on everything, but she was a great mother. I don’t know how this could have happened. Something is very, very wrong. She needs help. She really needs help.”
According to COED, Newsome told police the daughter laid in the backseat the entire car trip and did not eat, drink, or use the bathroom at any point.
Newsome’s bail was set at $50,000.
Feature photo: Handout/West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority