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Search underway for missing 2-year-old girl in Bartholomew County

"Our main concern right now is finding this little girl."
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Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-27 15:45:38-05

UPDATE:

Crews recovered a coat believed to belong to 2-year-old Emma Sweet from the river, roughly a mile from where her father's vehicle was located. Her father remains in the hospital, his condition unchanged on Saturday. Police say his story has changed at least three times, and they will continue their search for Emma. Anyone who may have had contact with Jeremy or Emma in the last 48 hours is asked to contact the police.

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers provided an update Saturday afternoon.

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY — Authorities in Bartholomew County are looking for a missing 2-year-old girl after her father was found in a truck that was submerged in the White River.

Emma Sweet has not been seen since noon Wednesday when she was with her father in the truck at a farm lane at the end of Beatty Lane, according to a news release from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched just before 6 a.m. Friday to the 1700 block of Blessing Road after duck hunters reported seeing a truck in the east fork of the White River.

The duck hunters found Jeremy Sweet, 39, of Columbus, who medics transported to Columbus Regional Hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia.

A sheriff's office spokesperson said Sweet is currently out on bond for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and possession of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Matt Myers says Emma and Jeremy were reported missing on Thursday and authorities were told two different stories about what happened to Emma and where she is.

"[The truck] basically went off a 15 foot embankment into the water," Myers said. "We'll find out what happened, but right now let's find this little girl."

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Emma remains missing, according to the sheriff’s office. Emma has brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing all black with a cream colored jacket with butterflies on it.

The sheriff’s office said it is not known if Emma was with her father when the truck was in the White River, but a car seat was found inside the truck.

Multiple departments are currently searching for Emma. Brittany Matney, who lives in the area, also joined the search.

"I've been driving around, doing what I can," Matney said. "I have a daughter who's actually 2-years-old, so it hits really close to home."

"If anybody knows where she's at or has seen her within the last 24 hours or had seen her within the last 24 hours, if they'd give us a call [that would help]," Myers said. "We want her back safe."

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Matney says she wanted to start crying when she heard the news that Emma was missing.

"This community, it can be amazing ... I have a bunch of people on my Facebook personally that want to come out and help search," she said. "I hope and pray that she is found safe."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office at 812-379-1650.