Sheriff has doubts missing toddler, now in state custody, was in woods alone for 32 hours before being found

A Kentucky toddler girl who disappeared for two days has been found, but she’s no longer in her grandparents’ home after authorities placed her into state custody, following a 32-hour frantic search last week. Further, a sheriff involved in the search has reason to believe that the little girl may not have been lost in the woods.

“I was basing everything off Thursday morning that the dog and the child left together,” Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said, according to WDRB. “We’re not sure that happened. We don’t know exactly what did happen….. [The dog] came back at the house the same time she [Charlee Campbell] showed up on Roy Lane. And it makes me real suspicious about what could have happened.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported,  2-year-old Charlee Campbell disappeared from her grandparents’ Bullitt County home on Thursday morning, off of the 600 block of Winding Hollow Road in Lebanon Junction. She was subsequently found safe, according to officials. Her pit bull dog, Penny, was also found safe.

The toddler was found around 5 p.m. on Friday after she walked onto the porch of a home off of Roy Layne Road. According to authorities, Charlee reportedly walked up around 600 yards of a hill to reach the residence, but when she did, the homeowners recognized her as the missing girl and called the police. Shortly after the little girl was found, Penny was found back at home, at the residence off of Winding Hollow Road.

Tinnell said the details do not add up to him. He thinks Charlee could have been in someone else’s house and could have been sexually assaulted. The sheriff said at this point it’s purely speculation as to where the toddler was for two days, but authorities requested a forensic medical examination to determine what, if anything, Charlee ate while she was missing. Authorities are also requesting the toddler undergo an examination to determine if someone sexually assaulted her.

Charlee had her shirt on when found, but her diaper and pants were removed. Authorities searched “extensively,” according to Tinnell, for the little girl’s missing clothing but they came up empty-handed. Other details that occurred during the search and its aftermath include:

  • When Charlee arrived on the back deck of a neighbor’s home, the neighbor brought her inside and gave her water, but she immediately threw up.
  • On Monday morning, CPS took custody of Charlee after her release from the hospital, following an initial health examination.
  • Charlee was dehydrated and had ticks on her.
  • Charlee is generally non-verbal but can repeat things said to her. She’s unable to articulate where she was when she disappeared.
  • Search warrants on the cellphones of Charlee’s family members are currently underway.
  • Within an hour of the FBI’s search of the grandparent’s home, the little girl showed up at the neighbor’s residence and the dog returned home.
  • Authorities are considering filing charges of negligence against the toddler’s grandmother, who was supposed to be taking care of the little girl when she vanished.
  • Charles Quick, the husband of Charlee’s mother, Natalie Quick, was arrested for outstanding warrants out of Florida on Thursday.
  • Charles Quick was cleared as a person of interest, but Tinnell said he was out in the woods on the day Charlee disappeared.
  • Police plan to forensically test Charles Quick’s cellphone.

The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Charlee Campbell/Handout]