It’s a story that seems straight out of a horror film: A 9-year-old girl dies after being forced to run for three hours by her stepmother. What did the little girl do to deserve such a punishment? She lied to her grandmother about eating candy bars.
Authorities say 9-year-old Savannah Hardin was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday afternoon. She was severely dehydrated and began having seizures in the backyard. When she wasn’t responding, the girl’s stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, called police. She died Monday at Children’s Hospital of Birmingham. The sheriff’s release said an autopsy report showed the girl was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.
Jessica Mae Hardin and the grandmother, Joyce Hardin Gerrard, are being held in the Etowah County Detention Center, each on a $500,000 cash bond.
Savannah’s father was reportedly working overseas.
What a horrific story. Hopefully, these women serve their time behind bars, and it’s a reminder to parents out there that no matter what, no child should be punished in the form of physical abuse. And if you ever witness something that just doesn’t seem right, don’t ignore it. You could save a life!