Emma  missing Barth Co Ind from sheriff FB saved 112621.jpg

Emma Sweet, 2, was last seen in Bartholomew County, Indiana, at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Columbus, Indiana, father has been charged in the death of his 2-year-old daughter.

Emma Sweet was reported missing Friday, after her father's truck was found submerged in a southern Indiana river. On Sunday, divers found her body three miles from where the truck was found in the White River. 

The search began when deputies were dispatched on Nov. 26 to the 1700 block of Blessing Road on a report that duck hunters found a truck with one person inside submerged "in the east fork of the White River" near a farm at the end of Beatty Lane just before 6 a.m. 

The occupant of the vehicle, Emma Sweet's father, Jeremy Sweet of Columbus, Indiana, was rescued and taken to a local hospital to be treated for exposure of hypothermia.  

"Jeremy did not say anything to the men who helped him to shore about any other individuals in the truck," according to court documents.

EMS paramedics found a syringe, and an empty "corner cut baggie" on him. He has faced drug charges in the past, including dealing in methamphetamine in 2016, and an illegal drug lab in 2007.

He was out on bond for unlawful possession of a firearm by a "serious violent felon," according to Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers. 

During an interview at the hospital, Jeremy Sweet told detectives that he got lost on a dirt road and "got his truck stuck" and while he was trying to move into over an embankment, they went into the river.

Jeremy Sweet said that water was coming inside the truck, court documents say, so he put Emma on the hood of the truck. 

He said they fell back into the water several times, so he took her coat off, which was "soaking wet." Search rescue crews first discovered the coat downstream from her father's truck. 

Detectives say Jeremy told them he fell asleep, and when he woke up, "Emma and her coat were gone." 

“Again, I want to reiterate that in my 30 years in law enforcement, I have never seen such cooperation in an investigation,” said Sheriff Myers. “I would like to thank our BCSO Detectives who have spent countless hours on this investigation.”

The autopsy could not conclude whether Emma Sweet died of hypothermia or drowning.  

Jeremy Sweet, who is now in custody, is charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and unlawful possession of a syringe.  He is being held on a $1.2 million bond. 

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