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Two Children Dead, One Rescued After SUV Rolled Into Creek

Their mother was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of child neglect.

(Photo credit: Leland Police Department)

Two small Alabama children are dead after their mother left them unattended in her car Saturday.

Jenea Payne, 25, was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of child neglect after leaving her two sons, 4-year-old Steve Smith and 1-year-old Rasheed Johnson Jr., and her daughter, 2-year-old Raelynn Johnson, unattended in her Nissan Pathfinder while she shopped at a Western Mississippi Stop-N-Shop, reports CNN affiliate WAPT.

By the time she returned, Payne’s vehicle had rolled into a creek across the street from the store with her children trapped inside.

Leland Fire Chief Bobby Johnson and other good Samaritans immediately jumped into action. One passerby handed the rescuers a glass breaker and they managed to retrieve Payne’s daughter from the car.

According to the television outlet, Leland police Assistant Chief Marcus Davis said, “As the vehicle floated down the creek, these individuals ended up only being able to rescue one of the three kids before having to swim to safety. The vehicle then drifted further down into the creek. Leland volunteer firefighters probed the creek attempting to find the vehicle, when a rescue dive team arrived and entered the water.”

The bodies of the two boys were still inside the vehicle when it was towed from the water. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Davis said two of the children were in car seats and one was not. He said the children managed to get the SUV moving. “Whatever the kids did, it ended up the vehicle being in the creek,” he said.

Payne was released on her own recognizance. The child rescued from the SUV is said to be in her father’s custody.

On 3/11/2019, Jenea Payne was booked and charged at the Leland Police Department for an incident that occurred on…

Posted by Leland Police Department on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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