Mother Allegedly Tosses Infant Daughter Off A Ravine, Fakes Kidnapping

North Carolina authorities say the child, Shaylie Madden, survived the drop "by the grace of God."

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Krista Madden

A North Carolina mother has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly throwing her baby into a ravine, a vicious act the child managed to survive “by the grace of God,” local authorities say.

Police initially believed Krista Madden, a 35-year-old Asheville resident, had been the victim of carjackers who kidnapped her 7-week-old daughter, Shaylie, local NBC affiliate WYFF reports. However, authorities later received a 911 call reporting someone had found an infant at the bottom of a nearby ravine, effectively turning the case around.

“There’s no people down here. We’re in a remote area. Somebody must have pulled up beside and tossed her like a piece of trash,” the caller, a woman, reportedly said. She theorized the child had rolled out of a nearby car seat that presumably had also been thrown.

Though the child was bruised with a badly injured leg when she was found, she is now reportedly in “very good condition,” according to authorities.

“It’s by the grace of God that we’re standing here with a child that’s been discovered and is alive,” Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin said during a news conference.

Authorities found both Madden and her abandoned car shortly before Shaylie was found, authorities said during a press conference, according to local CBS affiliate WSPA-TV

Madden reportedly claimed she was able to escape carjackers, whom she described as a man and a woman wearing ski masks, but said they got away with her car and her baby, police said, Fox News reports. Authorities now believe her story was a lie.

“We don’t believe that to be factual at all,” Griffin said. “We don’t have any reason to believe it is based on anything.”

Authorities have spoken with Madden’s husband but do not believe he or anyone else was involved, according to WYFF.

The sheriff's office charged Madden Friday with attempted first-degree murder and she is currently being held on a $750,000 bond at the Henderson County Detention Center, according to WSPA-TV.  

Madden, who could face more charges depending on how the investigation progresses, is scheduled to return to court on May 28.

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