3-year-old drowns while parents high on meth

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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. (CNN) — Authorities in Wythe County, Va., arrested a woman and her boyfriend after the woman’s 3-year-old daughter drowned.

The county sheriff says this tragedy probably wouldn’t have happened if the couple hadn’t been high on meth.

“I’ve worked for the sheriff’s office for 36 years and the thing that bothers the officers the most is the death of a child, so it’s never a good outcome for those guys,” Sheriff Keith Dunagan said.

It was a shocking discovery for deputies and the 100 people searching all night for 3-year-old Josie Burleson along the New River.

Dunagan says Josie wandered away, while her mother Kimberly Moore and boyfriend Alan Puckett stopped by a rental cabin near their home on Rocky Road Tuesday night.

He believes Burleson got into the river and likely drowned.

“It was a rescue,” Dunagan said. “We were we were hoping, dealing with a 3-year-old, you just hope for the best, get as people there as you can, and hit the ground with both feet.”

Dunagan says because Moore and Puckett were high on meth, they weren’t paying attention to what Burleson was doing.

The couple renting one of the cabins said Puckett ran up to them multiple times looking for Burleson after realizing she was gone.

“I believe that the child would be alive today if the adults that were supposed to be supervising weren’t high,” Dunagan said.

Now the sheriff is turning his attention to his own in what’s been a trying few hours for the community in Wythe County.

“When you’ve got people that are trained to help ease the pain of something like that, it helps it helps a lot,” Dunagan said.

Moore and Puckett have been charged with reckless endangerment, but the sheriff said more charges could be pending.

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