Josie Burleson

Mother, boyfriend behind bars after police find little girl dead in river

A little over five hours after a Virginia girl was reported missing, police found her deceased body in a Wythe County river. The child’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend are now facing charges.

ABC 1 reports that authorities found the body of 3-year-old Josie Burleson in the New River at a little after 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Police indicated the girl’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Moore, and her boyfriend, Adrian Neil Puckett, said Lindsay was playing outside near New River Trail when she disappeared at around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Lindsay was reportedly with Moore and Puckett while they were visiting a rental home at the time. The home is situated around 150 yards from the river.

While Moore and Puckett claimed the little girl wandered off, authorities said both mother and boyfriend were under the influence of meth. Police reportedly gave the pair a drug test, which confirmed they had drugs in their system.

“Upon interviewing the mother identified as Kimberly Dawn Moore and the mother’s boyfriend Adrian Neil Puckett, they both stated the child was playing outside near the New River Trail and wandered off,” a spokesperson with the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office said, according to CBS 6.

“A search was conducted within minutes of first responder’s arrival to the scene. There were over 100 searchers looking for the child in the fields, trails, and in the water. This search was continuous for over five and a half hours.”

Adrian Puckett and Kimberly Dawn Moore [Police Handout]
Both Moore and Puckett were arrested. They’re facing charges of child endangerment, child neglect and reckless disregard for life. More charges could follow, according to police.

The investigation is ongoing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Josie Burleson/Handout]