Coroner: Emma Sweet drowned in White River, death ruled as homicide

Crime in Indianapolis

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Emma Sweet, the 2-year-old girl found dead in the White River in November days after duck hunters rescued her father from his partially submerged pickup truck, had drowned, autopsy results show.

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office said she died from “complications of hypothermia and asphyxia due to drowning,” and her death was ruled a homicide.

She was found dead Nov. 28 in a debris field along the White River’s east fork in Bartholomew County following a search. Her body was recovered more than 2 miles from where her 39-year-old father, Jeremy Sweet, was found alive by duck hunters days before in his submerged pickup.

The father and daughter were last seen together in the vehicle Nov. 24 and they were reported missing by relatives the following day.

Jeremy was later charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and unlawful possession of a syringe, both felonies.

Investigators have said he has given police multiple accounts of how his truck got into the river and what happened to his daughter. The Bartholomew County man is believed to have driven his truck off a 15- to 20-foot embankment into the river, police said.

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