VIDEO: Bullitt Co. Sheriff doubts missing girl was wandering the woods alone
Sheriff Donnie Tinnel confirms that Charlee Campbell was not allowed to return home, after she was released from a Louisville hospital on Saturday.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The two-year-old girl who was the subject of a two-day search in Bullitt County has been placed with Child Protective Services.
Sheriff Donnie Tinnell confirms that Charlee Campbell was not allowed to return home after she was released from a Louisville hospital on Saturday.
The little girl suffered dehydration, scrapes and tick bites, when she was found Friday.
Tinnell believes the girl could have been inside someone's home during the course of her disappearance, and said on Monday that he is asking for a forensic medical examination to determine if the little girl had eaten over the time she went missing. The examination can also help determine whether the girl had been sexually assaulted.
He said authorities went back out to search the wooded area near where Charlee was found, but did not find the pajama bottoms she was reported to have been wearing when she disappeared.
Investigators say she somehow wandered up to a home just 500 yards behind her grandparents' house 33 hours after she was noticed missing, up very steep terrain with the family dog, Penny. First responders, cadaver dogs, and volunteers had searched several times around that same area with steep inclines.
"If you’ve seen those woods, I had a 20-year-old fireman that struggled to walk up that hill," Tinnell explained.
Tinnell also said there were many unanswered questions about the girl's disappearance. He said investigators have requested a search warrant to check the cell phone records of family members. And Tinnell said it's unusual that Charlee was found with dirt all over her, but the family dog that was thought to be with her was found on Friday very clean.
"The little girl had scratches on her feet, dirty feet and ticks on her. She was in those woods for some period of time. It didn’t indicate to me she was there for 36 hours," he said.
Tinnell said the investigation has not turned criminal, but he believes there will be criminal charges filed eventually. He is interested in finding out who was responsible for taking care of the child. And Tinnell vows to follow the custody dispute between Charlee's parents and any future court proceedings.
Tinnell strongly believes someone close to Charlee is responsible for her missing.
"My suspicion is there’s a custody issue between mother and grandmother. I suspect maybe there’s something going on that we don’t know about yet," he said.
Tinnell said he plans to send a criminal summons for negligence to Charlee's grandmother, who was in the home at the time she went missing.
Charlee went missing in the early hours of Thursday morning. When she was found late the next day, she was still wearing a Disney pajama top but no pants or a diaper.
The little girl walked up to the porch of a home on Roy Layne Road owned by Wayne Brown. He said she had dirt all over her and had leaves in her hair. "And she handed me this bottle. And I said 'Are you Charlee?' She didn't answer me. She wouldn't say anything."
But one thing’s for sure, the sheriff believes the FBI’s involvement is one of the sole reasons Charlee was found.
"They went to the home and did a search of that home, and low and behold, an hour after that search the dog returns to the house and the little girl shows up at 194 Roy Layne," he said.
On Friday, Tinnell said he believed the girl's disappearance could be related to a custody dispute. After Charlee was found, he said it's still unclear where she was while she was missing and whether she was outside in the woods the whole time.
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