Authorities believe the toddler had been deceased for several hours when the deputy found her, and that the 24-year-old mother may have been pushing him on the swing at Wills Memorial Park in La Plata, Maryland, since the previous day.
“She was able to answer some questions for us,” Diane Richardson, a spokesperson for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, told BuzzFeed News Friday.
Investigators were still trying to understand what happened to the child as of Friday afternoon.
Deputies were called at 7 a.m. when a resident near the park said the woman had been pushing the child for hours. The mother, Richardson said, had been seen near the same swing set, pushing the boy, since the previous day.
“She was seen there (yesterday), and we don’t know if she ever left,” Richardson said.
“It was really difficult for the officer to encounter the situation,” Richardson said.
There were no obvious signs of trauma on the child, who was taken to the medical examiner to determine a cause of death.
The mother, who was not immediately identified, was also taken to a nearby hospital to be evaluated, Richardson said.
She talked briefly with authorities, Richardson said, but declined to offer details.
Investigators have reached out to the woman’s family and are canvassing the neighborhood near the park to piece together what happened.
The case is being handled as a death investigation, and the woman has not been arrested.
“It’s a very sad situation,” Richardson said.
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