'Miracle baby' found crawling by Louisiana highway after 4-year-old brother found dead, mom arrested

A Louisiana sheriff says a 1-year-old “miracle baby” survived two days of sometimes stormy weather before a truck driver spotted him crawling along a roadside the day after his 4-year-old brother was found dead and his mother was arrested in Mississippi.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Gary “Stitch” Guillory said the baby had numerous bug bites but otherwise appeared to be in good condition.

Autopsy reports were pending on the 4-year-old who was found Monday, Guillory said during a Tuesday news conference in Lake Charles, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) west of New Orleans. The body had been found in a lake behind an Interstate 10 welcome center near the Texas state line.

FILE - The Calcasieu River Bridge is shown in Lake Charles, Louisiana on July 14, 2021.

FILE – The Calcasieu River Bridge is shown in Lake Charles, Louisiana on July 14, 2021.

Photo by Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Authorities investigating the 4-year-old’s death learned that he had last been seen Saturday with his mother, Aaliyah Jack, 25, of Lake Charles, and the 1-year-old.

Fearing the 1-year-old was dead, authorities prepared Tuesday morning to search the water where the dead child was found. Then a truck driver called 911 after spotting the baby.

“We look at this 1-year old as our miracle baby because he was still alive,” a visibly moved Guillory said.

Hurricane Beryl had struck east Texas early Monday, and the search for the child played out amid bands of intermittent, heavy rain and high wind gusts.

“This kid spent two days out in the weather on the side of the highway,” Guillory said. “Thank God that trucker seen him.”

Jack was arrested Monday night in Meridian, Mississippi, more than 350 miles (563 kilometers) from where her children were found. She was to be extradited to Louisiana, where she faced a charge of failure to report a missing child. A Louisiana judge had set bond at $300,000, Guillory said.

Kayla Vincent, a spokeswoman for the sheriff, said no other charges were pending as of Wednesday afternoon and that the investigation was continuing.

Online booking records were not available Wednesday. It was unclear if Jack had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

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Associated Press reporter Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, contributed to this report.

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