WYTHE COUNTY, Va. - Authorities in Virginia arrested a woman and her boyfriend after the woman's 3-year-old daughter drowned. The county sheriff said this tragedy probably wouldn't have happened if the couple hadn't been high on meth.
"I've worked for the sheriff's office for 36 years and the thing that bothers the officers the most is the death of a child. So it's never a good outcome for those guys," Wythe County Sheriff Keith Dunagan told WSLS.
If was a shocking discovery for deputies and the 100 people searching all night for 3-year-old Josie Burleson along the New River.
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Dunagan said Josie wandered away while her mother, Kimberly Moore, and boyfriend, Alan Puckett, stopped by a rental cabin near their home Tuesday night. Dungan believes Burleson got into the river and likely drowned. Because Moore and Puckett were high on meth, they weren't paying attention to what Burleson was doing.
"I believe that the child would be alive today if the adults that were supposed to be supervising weren't high," said Dunagan.
Dunagan said the initial operation was not just a recovery, "It was a rescue. We were hoping, dealing with a 3-year-old, you just hope for the best, get as people there as you can, and hit the ground with both feet," said Dunagan.
Now Dunagan is turning his attention to his own in what's been a trying few hours for the community.
"When you've got people that are trained to help ease the pain of something like that, it helps it helps a lot," said Dunagan.
Moore and Puckett have been charged with reckless endangerment, but the sheriff said more charges could be pending.