Another Miller County toddler is dead. Sheriff Bill Abbott is pleading, asking residents to reach out for help if they need it and to report any abuse they believe is taking place. KRCG's Mallory McGowin spoke to Abbott Monday and has the latest.
It's the third Miller County child in seven months that has died suspiciously and sheriff's department officials are at a loss.
"We've had too many deaths in Miller County...infant deaths...and I'm going to let the people know there's things out here for them, resources to go to and get help," says Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott.
Sheriff Abbott says he cannot release many details in the most recent case. We do know the two-year-old was life-flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital Friday night and died Sunday morning. An autopsy was performed Monday morning. A sheriff's department investigation is ongoing.
Abbott says he has no idea why this is happening and is trying to figure out what more his agency can do.
"You know, maybe myself and others need to open our eyes and say there is a problem here. Are we doing something wrong here? We're asking for people to help us. Call us if you suspect this is going on with your neighbors, grandkids, or whoever it shall be. We're here to help," says Abbott.
Abbott urges stressed out parents or concerned neighbors and family members to reach out for help. He says county residents can call the sheriff's department any time, day or night, at (573) 369-2341. The Miller County Health Department has nurses on hand during normal business hours. That number is (573) 369-2359. You can also call the local Missouri Department of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-392-3738.
As for this most recent case, criminal charges could be filed by the end of the week.