JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- (WJXT) -- Police in two states are investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl found dead after a crash in West Virginia. Authorities believe the girl's 37-year-old mother, Erica Newsome, killed her inside their Jacksonville home and was attempting to drive her body to Buffalo, New York.
Newsome was arrested and charged with concealing a dead body and was being held on $50,000 pending a hearing on Friday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was contacted Sunday afternoon by the West Virginia State Police and detectives began an investigation at Newsome's mobile home in Oceanway. Police said evidence shows the girl was killed in the residence.
According to multiple reports in West Virginia, Newsome lost control of her vehicle Sunday and struck a guard rail on Allegheny Mountain, a mile and a half west of the Virginia border, Sunday morning.
Motorists from New York City, traveling the same highway, reported seeing Newsome remove a body wrapped in a blanket from the vehicle and drag it over the hill. West Virginia State Police Sgt. Herby Barlow said Newsome and the body of her daughter were found on an old logging road approximately 150 feet over the embankment.
“It was obvious that the 11-year-old did not die from injuries from the accident,” Barlow told the Pocahontas (West Virginia) Times. “Her injuries were non-motor-vehicle injuries.”
Senior Trooper D. R. Dillon told the newspaper that Newsome admitted, "She had picked her daughter, Kaye-lea Plummer, up from her bed and put her in her truck on Friday, August 4, and Kaye-lea did not move, eat, drink, speak or use the restroom for two days -- the time span of the drive from Jacksonville, Florida to the scene of the accident."