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Georgia Mom Charged with Murder After She Allegedly Left Kids Home Alone and 3-Year-Old Son Drowned

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A 32-year-old Georgia mother is facing a single count of murder after authorities allege she left her 3-year-old son alone for more than 12 hours before realizing he had drowned in an above-ground swimming pool behind her home.

Bobbie Jessica Prather was arrested on Monday and charged with felony murder and four counts of first-degree cruelty to children, PEOPLE confirms.

Investigators allege that Prather left her four children by themselves in Cartersville, Georgia, for more than 14 hours. Court filings show the boy who died, identified as Jagger Settles, managed to find his way outside and into the water. His absence went unnoticed for more than an hour.

The three surviving kids have been removed from Prather’s home and are now in protective custody, according to authorities.

Their ages have not been released, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described them as “young children.”

Prather has not entered a plea to the charges against her and was denied bond at her first court appearance on Wednesday. It was unclear Thursday if she had retained an attorney.

 

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Bobbie Jessica Prather
Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

Deputies with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office were called to Prather’s Cartersville home shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday, where they found Jagger unresponsive in the pool nearby.

Paramedics at the scene did not attempt to resuscitate him, determining that he had been submerged too long to be revived. Authorities believe the boy may have been underwater for close to an hour.

Prather was performing CPR on Jagger as deputies arrived at her home and was arrested about four hours later, according to documents provided by investigators.

Attempts to reach her family members and Jagger’s father were unsuccessful on Thursday.