A 15-month-old girl is recovering from severe dehydration after she was discovered living alone with her dead grandmother in Maryville, Tennessee, on Saturday, PEOPLE confirms.
Authorities say it’s unclear when the grandmother died, but that the girl, identified as Brier Ineichen, could have been trapped alone for up to seven days without food or water.
Anthony Waldo, a family friend, found the girl on Saturday afternoon after Brier’s mother, Tracy Ineichen, called him to ask if he would check on the little girl. Tracy is in jail for failing to appear for a court date and violating the terms of community correction, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE, and had left Brier in the care of her mother, Annette, police say.
“I got a phone call from Tracy saying something’s wrong…something’s very wrong,” Waldo told WVLT. So Waldo went over to the house.
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“Brier was in her crib and she stood up heard my voice and kind of reached out to me. I told Tracy, ‘I see Brier’ and she said ‘Break that door down,’ ” Waldo recalled. “When I grabbed her, she just couldn’t hold her head up. She was just hugging on me and collapsed on me.”
Waldo called 911, and authorities arrived to take Brier to a nearby children’s hospital for treatment. She has since been released and is on the mend, a Maryville police spokesman tells PEOPLE.
As for Annette, she was found dead on the floor inside a bathroom in the home. Police believe she died because of a medical issue, but authorities have yet to rule on an official cause and manner of death.
Now, Waldo hopes to get custody of Brier while Tracy is in jail. “We are going to try to keep Annette in her memories and do things that Annette did with her,” Waldo said. “That way she won’t forget who Annette is.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for Brier’s rehabilitation.