Emma Sweet, a missing two-year-old girl from Indiana, was found dead on Sunday, November 28, 2021. Police authorities extracted her body from the White River near Columbus, nearly two-and-a-half miles away from where father Jeremy Sweet's truck was discovered on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers issued an official statement regarding their discovery and said:
“We had the resources we needed to locate this girl. Although my heart goes out to the family and friends, there’s a bit of comfort knowing that we have her now."
Jeremy and Emma were reported missing on Thanksgiving Day by the latter’s mother. This led to an extensive search operation involving the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and several local fire departments.
Unfortunately, the search came to a tragic end as Emma Sweet was discovered dead this weekend. Meanwhile, her father was found on Friday and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of hypothermia.
Emma Sweet missing investigation explored
On Thursday, November 25, 2021, Emma Sweet’s mother filed a missing report for her daughter and husband after they were last seen together on Wednesday afternoon, according to Sheriff Matt Myers:
“Prior to us being called to that scene, the mother had filed a missing persons report on both Emma and Jeremy on Thanksgiving Day.”
On Friday, November 26, duck hunters discovered a truck submerged in the White River around 6 a.m. Officials arrived at the scene and found Jeremy Sweet inside the vehicle without his daughter.
He was reportedly seen with needles under the influence of paraphernalia and admitted to a hospital for hypothermia. Jeremy is also a convicted felon who was recently released on bond for "possession of a firearm” and “possession of methamphetamine."
On Saturday, November 27, Emma Sweet’s mother and uncle joined authorities in their extensive search operation in the White River area. Rescue officers later found the little girl’s jacket downstream from the location where her father’s truck was spotted.
Although Saturday's search was called off for the area being too dark, the child was found dead by officers the following day. Sheriff Matt Myers mentioned that Jeremy provided conflicting statements on Emma Sweet’s disappearance during the investigation:
“When we first made contact with him yesterday morning it was that he had dropped Emma at Casey’s. Right after that he says she was on the hood of the car of his vehicle her coat was wet, so he took the coat off and that’s where she got swept away. There are really three stories now and none of them match.”
Myers later appreciated the efforts of the search crew and offered his condolences to Emma Sweet’s family:
"It’s a bittersweet day and what I mean by that is, I’m very proud of the men and women that went out and did what they did on a holiday weekend, but my heart goes out to the family.”
Indiana State Police Sergeant Stephen Wheeles added that rescue officers were inside the water for three days during the search operation and the tragic discovery left them emotional:
“It’s very emotional for those guys. They all have families. It’s hard for us to distance ourselves from that situation when you’re dealing with the loss of a child. It’s hard for those guys not to picture that being their child."
Jeremy Sweet is currently facing a 72-hour hold in hospital and is reportedly in a critical condition. Meanwhile, Emma Sweet’s missing investigation is underway and her body has been sent to Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office to further examine the exact cause of her death.