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Girl Runs To Death Alabama

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Girl Runs To Death Alabama, On February 20, in rural Alabama, nine-year-old Savannah Hardin was fatally punished for lying to her grandmother about eating candy bars. According to USA Today, Savannah’s grandmother and stepmother allegedly forced the third grader to run around for three hours, resulting in severe dehydration. The dehydration caused a seizure, and the girl died soon after.

CNN reports that grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard, 46, and stepmother Jessica Mae Hardin, 27, both face murder charges; they are currently being held in the Etowah County Detention Center, each on a $500,000 cash bond.

Concerned witnesses informed deputies that Savannah was ordered to run without stopping for three hours. No other details were released, and authorities are still determining whether Savannah was forced to run by verbal commands or by physical coercion. Neighbor Roger Simpson states that he saw a little girl running at approximately 4 p.m., but he did not notice anyone chasing or coercing her. He did not give the running girl another thought, unaware that he was actually witnessing a murder in progress.

The stepmother called police later that evening at 6:45 p.m., explaining that Savannah was having a seizure and was unresponsive. Savannah died at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Furthermore, an autopsy report showed that Savannah was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled Savannah’s death as a homicide.

USA Today acknowledges that a wooden fence, toys, and playground equipment surround the trailer where Savannah lived. Neighbors, however, report that they never saw children playing in the yard. In addition, Savannah’s father, Robert Hardin, who filed for divorce in August of 2010, was sometimes present at the trailer. In his complaint, he asserted that his wife, Savannah’s stepmother, was bipolar and had alcoholic tendencies. He even accused her of formerly running off with the couple’s own child. Jessica denied all of Robert’s allegations in her response. Five months after filing for divorce, Robert and Jessica requested a judge to dismiss their case.

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