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MADISON COUNTY, Ga. — The parents of a toddler found crawling along a Georgia highway say they’re grateful to the Good Samaritan who helped her, but defend themselves against charges that they were neglectful.
Bryant Collins was driving down the highway when he saw a baby crawling through the woods last Friday. She nearly reached the road. Collins stopped and picked up the baby girl. According to WXIA, Bryant stayed with her for two hours.
“The baby started crying,” Collins said, “So I turned my phone on and let her listen to some gospel music, and she calmed right down.”
The little girl’s name is Emily and she’s 15-months old.
Her parents, Thomas and Denise Pickens, are facing accusations of neglect. Emily’s father has already been charged with neglect. The mother may be charged soon. They deny that this was anything more than an accident.
They say they were in their backyard bagging aluminum cans while 15-month-old Emily was napping and her 12-year-old brother was supposed to be watching her.
“We did not neglect our children. We were there with them the whole time. We just stepped outside for a few minutes.”
When they found out she was gone, they panicked, searched frantically for her and called 911 only to hear she’d been found nearby.
“He’s our angel and, you know, we’re thankful to him from the bottom of our hearts,” said Emily’s mother.