1-year-old rescued after days on Louisiana highway after Beryl

A 1-year-old boy was found crawling in a ditch along the side of a Louisiana highway after According to officials, they survived two days of bad weather.

The baby was discovered by a truck driver on Interstate 10 on Tuesday, a day after his 4-year-old brother was found dead in a nearby body of water in southwestern Louisiana near the Texas border, the Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s office said.

The child’s mother was arrested hundreds of miles away in Meridian, Miss., and charged with failure to report a missing child, the sheriff’s office said. It identified the mother as Aaliya Jack, 25, but did not release the children’s names.

Officials are still investigating the events that led to the boys’ discoveries, and a coroner was still determining the 4-year-old’s cause of death, officials said. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Gary “Stitch” Guillory said it was a “miracle” that the baby survived the ordeal.

“It’s amazing that this 1-year-old baby crawls into a ditch after two days on the highway,” Guillory said Tuesday during a news conference. “We call him our miracle baby. It’s a miracle that he’s here.”

Between Sunday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service recorded thunderstorms, heavy rain and fog in nearby Lake Charles as Hurricane Beryl made landfall on the Texas coast on Monday. Beryl, which has since been downgraded to a tropical depression, spawned an outbreak of tornadoes in northeastern Texas and western Louisiana, causing widespread power outages and battering the area with devastating wind gusts.

According to Guillory, officers first learned of the tragedy Monday afternoon when they found the body of a 4-year-old boy in the water near a parking lot in Vinton, Louisiana.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Jack on Monday night and she was subsequently arrested in Meridian, where she was found at a train station “attempting to leave town” without her 1-year-old child with her, according to Guillory.

On Tuesday morning, a truck driver spotted the missing toddler crawling in a ditch next to the eastbound lane of Louisiana’s Interstate 10. Guillory said he was found in “very good condition” and was taken into the care of Louisiana’s Department of Child and Family Services, who took him to a nearby hospital.

“This child was out there in the elements on the side of the highway for two days. Thank God that truck driver saw him,” Guillory said. “We’re so thankful for that truck driver who saw that baby this morning, and immediately pulled over to the side of the road and called 911.”

Guillory added that the baby “had a lot of bug bites, but you know, he was in the ambulance drinking water, he was sitting up, so he’s in good spirits.”

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kayla Vincent said in an email Thursday morning that the 1-year-old boy was in the custody of Child Protective Services after being released from the hospital and that the police investigation was ongoing.

In an interview with the Acadiana Advocate, Conswella Jack, Aaliya’s mother and the boysgrandmother, said, “I was so blessed to hear that the baby survived, but also so hurt because now one of them is dead.”

She told the local newspaper that she last saw her daughter and grandsons on Saturday, but that she received a text message from Aaliya on Sunday saying that her daughter had been involved in a car accident. “She sent me a picture of a car in some bushes that looked like it had been smashed up,” the grandmother said. “I was confused, so I called and called and called, but I couldn’t reach her.”

During Tuesday’s news conference, the sheriff said he was “anxiously” awaiting a report from the Beaumont, Texas, coroner on the cause of death of the 4-year-old.

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