Emma Sweet, 2-Year-Old Girl Found Dead in Indiana River, Died by Homicidal Drowning: Coroner

A rescue team discovered Emma's body on Nov. 28, three days after she was reported missing

emma sweet
Emma Sweet. Photo: Bartholomew County Sheriff

The death of a 2-year-old girl discovered in an Indiana river was ruled a homicide by drowning, autopsy results show.

The Bartholomew County Coroner's Office has determined that Emma Sweet — who went missing on Thanksgiving Day and was found deceased three days later — died from "complications of hypothermia and asphyxia due to drowning," PEOPLE confirms.

"No actions were taken by her adult caregiver to rescue Emma Sweet from the dangerous environment and this inaction resulted in her death," the Bartholomew County Sheriff alleged in a statement, "and thus the manner of death is homicide."

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Emma and her father, 39-year-old Jeremy Sweet, were reported missing on Thanksgiving Day, the day after they were last seen together.

Early on Nov. 26, duck hunters found Sweet submerged in his pick-up truck in the White River. He was still alive, and was taken to the hospital for treatment for exposure to hypothermia.

But Emma was not with him, and her disappearance sparked a widespread search by numerous agencies.

Two days later, a diver with the Bartholomew County Water Rescue and Recovery Team discovered Emma's body, about three miles downstream from where her father was found.

On Dec. 1, Sweet was arrested on a felony charge of neglecting a dependent, resulting in death, and another charge of unlawful possession of a syringe, the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Office announced in a statement.

After Emma was found, Sheriff Matt Myers said Sweet gave differing accounts about what had happened to her.

"What he originally said was that he possibly had dropped his daughter off some place prior to that incident happening," said Myers. "And then he said at the same time there shortly after that she was with him at the time he went into the water."

At the time of Emma's death, Sweet had been out of jail on bond on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as well as possession of methamphetamine, Myers said.

Updated by Christine Pelisek
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