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The mother of a three-year-old girl who died after spending more than 11 hours in the woods in freezing weather has been arrested, authorities in Georgia said.

Uriha Ridge, 35, faces multiple counts of cruelty to children and one count of felony murder, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. 

Deputies responded to the Foxhall Resort before noon on January 16 in reference to a woman and her two children “allegedly lost in the woods.” Resort employees assisted deputies in finding Ridge and her two children, who were “soaking wet,” ages three and seven, in a wooded area far from the resort they were staying at. The mother and children were taken to hospitals, where the three-year-old died due to what investigators believe is exposure to the elements.

“The consumption of illegal drugs is believed to be the root cause of why Uriha Ridge took her two small children into the woods, minimally clothed, in below-freezing temperatures, and in the rain for more than eleven hours,” the sheriff’s office said. 

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Ridge was located with a cell phone with a charged battery, authorities said. Online records show she was arrested on January 19. She is being held at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Jail without bond. 

The mother is accused of using cocaine and marijuana before heading outdoors that night, which had a forecast low temperature of 27 degrees, FOX 5 Atlanta reports. The TV station’s investigative team found that Ridge was charged with assault and cruelty toward children in 2022.

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Uriha Ridge mugshot
Foxhall resort front angle

Ridge’s seven-year-old child was also hospitalized as a result of the January 16 incident, but DCSO did not provide an updated condition. 

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