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Emma Sweet died of hypothermia, asphyxia; death ruled a homicide

Emma found in river in Bartholomew Co. on Nov. 28
Emma Sweet
Posted at 12:27 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 12:27:21-05

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY — An autopsy found 2-year-old Emma Sweet died of complications of hypothermia and asphyxia due to drowning and her death was a homicide, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Office.

Sweet was found dead on Nov. 28 in the White River, days after duck hunters found her father, Jeremy Sweet, inside a submerged truck. Jeremy was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and unlawful possession of a syringe.

Emma's autopsy was conducted on Nov. 29 at Columbus Regional Hospital by Forensic Pathologist D.O. Thomas J. Sozio.

In a report, Sozio wrote Emma was placed into a dangerous environment by an adult caregiver and likely suffered hypothermia due to the cold weather and or drowning.

"No actions were taken by her adult caregiver to rescue Emma Sweet from the dangerous environment and this inaction resulted in her death and thus the manner of death is homicide," Sozio wrote.

In the press release, Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers again thanked the people who helped search for Emma.

“I would especially like to thank the volunteer fire departments, Prosecutor Greg Long and the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office," Myers said in the release. "It takes a lot of people working together in incidents like this, and I am extremely impressed with the professionalism across all agencies.”

According to online court records, Jeremy's case is still pending and a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on April 4.