A Mississippi mother is behind bars after allegedly choking her infant daughter and leaving her in the woods, PEOPLE confirms.
Santangela Turner, 26, is accused of choking the infant with a car charger and leaving her in the woods near her apartment complex, according to a Jones County Sheriff’s Department news release obtained by PEOPLE.
A series of troubling text messages allegedly sent by Turner led investigators to arrest her, the news release states.
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Child Protective Services employees initially handling the case notified local authorities about Turner after a witness allegedly reported receiving text messages from the Laurel mother saying she had choked the infant and left her in the woods, according to the release.
Evidence obtained by authorities included a picture showing a white cord around the child’s neck accompanied by threatening messages allegedly sent by Turner saying she would harm the girl, according to the release.
Another picture, allegedly sent by Turner, showed her holding a knife up to the child’s neck as the infant lied on her back, as well as one with Turner allegedly choking her daughter with the cord as the infant cried, the news release states.
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On Monday, Turner turned herself after learning a warrant had been issued for her arrest. She made an initial court appearance Tuesday, according to a Jones County Court official, who did not know if she has an attorney yet. She has not yet entered a plea, the court official says.
The child, who has not been named, is safe and with her father, a sheriff spokesperson tells PEOPLE.