What we know about 2-year-old Emma Sweet's death in Indiana river in Bartholomew County

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Rescue teams in Bartholomew County on Sunday found the body of toddler Emma Sweet after a three-day search of the White River.

The Bartholomew County Water Rescue and Recovery Team found the 2-year-old 2.5 miles downstream from where her father, Jeremy Sweet, was found alive by duck hunters last Friday. He was in a pickup truck submerged in the White River and was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Jeremy Sweet, 39, remains in the hospital and has been placed on 72-hour hold by police, pending further investigation.

Here's what we know about Emma Sweet's death and the ongoing investigation.

When did Emma Sweet go missing?

The river search for the missing toddler began Friday, Nov. 26, when duck hunters found a pickup partially submerged in the White River near the 1700 block of Blessing Road in Columbus, according to Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers.

Emma Sweet
Emma Sweet

Jeremy Sweet was found inside the truck and taken to Columbus Regional Hospital, where he is in critical condition and being treated for hypothermia and frostbite.

Sheriff's deputies learned the 2-year-old might have been with her father at the time the truck went into the water, but the girl was not found in the vehicle. Both Emma and Jeremy Sweet had been reported missing by the toddler's mother on Thanksgiving Day — a day before Jeremy and the truck were found.

EARLIER: 2-year-old girl missing after father's pickup found in Bartholomew County river

By Saturday afternoon, officials removed the pickup from the river but did not find anything that would help in the investigation, Myers said at the time.

Later in the day, people searching the banks of the river discovered Emma Sweet's coat about 2 miles from where the truck was found.

How was the 2-year-old found?

Emma Sweet's body was found by rescue workers about 2.5 miles downstream from where the duck hunters discovered Jeremy Sweet and the truck, law enforcement officials said.

Her body was next to a pile of debris in the water.

More than 14 agencies, including the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police and the Department of Natural Resources aided in the search.

Myers, the sheriff, at a news conference Sunday said the agencies used drones and foot patrols to search the area, and an ISP helicopter was deployed "on multiple occasions." DNR and ISP divers were in the water searching for the toddler "at all times," he added.

“We had the resources we needed to locate this girl," Myers told reporters. "Although my heart goes out to the family and friends, there’s a bit of comfort knowing we have her now.”

The water in the river during the past few days was not fast-moving, according to DNR Capt. Jet Quillen, who said Sunday it was "not the worst conditions" for a search. There were small debris piles in the water, Quillen noted, and the broad search area was "taxing" on rescue workers.

The Bartholomew County Coroner's Office will determined the 2-year-old's cause of death.

How did Jeremy Sweet's truck get in the river?

How exactly the truck got into the river is not clear, and police say those details are under investigation.

Myers told reporters Jeremy Sweet gave investigators "conflicting stories" and "basically gave two stories" as to what happened.

The 39-year-old at one point told investigators he was with his daughter when they drove off an embankment that Myers noted was 15- to 20 feet high. Sweet originally told police he "had possibly dropped his daughter off someplace prior to that incident, Myers said, before later saying the girl "was with him at the time he went into the water.”

Emma Sweet
Emma Sweet

“Our detectives have talked to Jeremy on several different occasions, and he had given conflicting stories," Myers said. "But it made us believe that, probably, she was in the water with him..."

Quillen at the news conference noted it was possible for a vehicle to be driven into the river near where the truck was found but said a driver would "have to go off road and drive over a barrier to get into the water."

EARLIER: Missing toddler Emma Sweet found dead three miles downstream of her father's pickup truck

"That is something that is being looked at," Quillen said, "because it is not a scenario where you can just accidentally drive into it.”

What's going on with Emma Sweet's father?

Myers on Sunday said Jeremy Sweet will be taken to the Bartholomew County Jail once he leaves the hospital.

Police found a needle and drug paraphernalia on him after he was rescued from the truck, and the man was out on bond for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and possession of methamphetamine, court records show.

He was placed on the 72-hour hold so the sheriff's office "can continue to investigate and get our reports over to the prosecutor’s office," Myers said.

As of early Monday afternoon, no charges had been filed against Jeremy Sweet in connection to his daughter's death, according to a search of public court records.

What is Emma's family saying?

Bryan O’Neal, Emma Sweet's uncle, at the Sunday news conference thanked law enforcement officials and the community for their help in finding the 2-year-old.

“On behalf of my family, I just... appreciate what all these agencies have done — all the resources they put into finding Emma and to bringing her home," he said.

O'Neal said the community's "outpouring of love and support" also played a role in finding the toddler.

Contact Lawrence Andrea at 317-775-4313 or landrea@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter @lawrencegandrea.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Emma Sweet's body found: Missing girl found in White River in Columbus

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