Baby’s Body Found Near River in Saline County

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NEAR MARSHALL, Mo. -- According to the Saline County coroner, an 18-month old baby who was missing for a couple of days died from extreme dehydration. Saline County, Missouri Sheriff's deputies continue to investigate the baby's death as her mother recovers in the hospital.

The baby and her mother, Lydia Iliff, 32, had been missing for two days when the child was found dead on Sunday morning near a river bank.

Deputies started searching for the baby and her mother on Thursday July 5, regarding a stolen pick up truck. The truck was located the same day, but no one was nearby. Police continued to search for the woman. On Saturday, July 7, someone contacted the sheriff's department stating the woman had shown up at their home and was disoriented.

The people at the home say Iliff was naked and cut-up when she arrived at their home and ran for the garden hose to get a drink.

The woman says Iliff told them she was lost in a cornfield for two days after crashing her car. She said she left the baby behind when she couldn't carry her anymore.

Police talked with Iliff and she told them she remembered leaving the child on a creek bank. About 40 volunteers searched the area around 1 a.m. on Sunday and found the child's body within an hour.

Iliff was treated for dehydration at the hospital and is still there. Police have not been able to talk to her more because of her condition.

Police hope to forward the case to prosecutors by Wednesday so they can determine if charges will be filed.

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