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Old 02-23-2012, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Girl, 9, Dies After Being Forced to Run Three Hours as Punishment

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ATTALLA, ALA.—Roger Simpson said he saw a little girl running outside her home but didn’t give it another thought. Police say he witnessed a murder in progress.

Authorities say 9-year-old Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for lying to her grandmother about eating candy bars. Severely dehydrated, the girl had a seizure and died days later. Now, her grandmother and stepmother face murder charges.

“A 9-year-old child is actually run to death in this day and time,” Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin said at a news conference Wednesday.

“The taking of a candy bar turned into an all-day marathon,” added county District Attorney Jimmie Harp at the conference.

Witnesses told deputies Savannah was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday, an Etowah County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said. The girl’s stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, called police that evening, telling them Savannah was having a seizure and was unresponsive.

Simpson said he saw a little girl running but didn’t see anybody chasing or coercing her.

“I saw her running down there, that’s what I told the detectives,” Simpson said. “But I don’t see how that would kill her.”

Deputies were told the girl was made to run after lying to her grandmother, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard, about having eaten the candy, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Natalie Barton said.

Savannah Hardin died Monday, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s release said an autopsy report showed the girl was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.

The sheriff’s office received calls from concerned citizens who witnessed the girl running.

Garrard and Jessica Mae Hardin are being held on a $500,000 cash bond for each.

Jessica Mae Hardin gave birth Wednesday under guard, the local newspaper, the Gadsden Times, reported. Alabama Department of Human Resources officials were called in to deal with the newborn and Savannah’s 3-year-old stepbrother.

The little girl’s father, Robert Hardin, returned home from his overseas job as a private contractor for the U.S. government in time to see his daughter removed from a ventilator, Entrekin said at the news conference.

Robert Hardin and Savannah’s mother, Heather, divorced in 2006.

School superintendent Alan Cosby said Savannah Hardin’s desk had been turned into a makeshift memorial where her classmates could leave notes and mementos.

“This is obviously a very tragic, devastating, heartbreaking situation,” Cosby said. “Nothing like this has ever happened before.”

“Her daddy called her princess. Every day she would come in the school and just be a little light,” Principal Donna Johnson told WBRC-TV.

“Every day she would always say, 'Hello Mrs. Johnson you look beautiful today.' She would always say, 'Yes ma'am, no ma'am. Can you do this for me? Yes ma'am, no ma'am.' Always respected authority.”
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just disgusting. I hope both the mom and grandmother fry.

A 46 year old grandmother and a 9 year old granddaughter? The math on this is scary.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How fat/out of shape was this kid that she died from running 3 hours?!? Something seems off here.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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How fat/out of shape was this kid that she died from running 3 hours?!? Something seems off here.
She was a kid, sure there might have been some other underlying factors but still...

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Having kids myself, that story breaks my heart. I cannot imagine punishing a child like that. Sure there are consequences for her lies, but to make someone run for 3 hours? WTF
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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picture doesn't look out of shape...i don't know any 9 year olds that can run for 3 hrs straight
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just disgusting. I hope both the mom and grandmother fry.

A 46 year old grandmother and a 9 year old granddaughter? The math on this is scary.
I'm not passing judgement here, but this just screams white trash.

Very sad none the less.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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picture doesn't look out of shape...i don't know any 9 year olds that can run for 3 hrs straight
Really? My 7 year old runs around for hours on end. I mean, I am assuming she wasnt sprinting for 3 full hours. I dont know, something else seems fishy. I just cant imagine a kid outside running around for 3 hours would kill a healthy 9 year old child.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Really? My 7 year old runs around for hours on end. I mean, I am assuming she wasnt sprinting for 3 full hours. I dont know, something else seems fishy. I just cant imagine a kid outside running around for 3 hours would kill a healthy 9 year old child.
What's fishy about it? She died of severe dehydration. She probably suffered from some malnutrition and wasn't given anything to drink during her ordeal.

Comparing it to a kid playing is being intentionally obtuse. Dehydration isn't something you just tough out.


Can't imagine what the father is going through.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Really? My 7 year old runs around for hours on end. I mean, I am assuming she wasnt sprinting for 3 full hours. I dont know, something else seems fishy. I just cant imagine a kid outside running around for 3 hours would kill a healthy 9 year old child.
'Something else seems fishy' as in the parent/grandparent should not be charged, the kid had it coming? Or 'something else seems fishy' as in that isn't the whole story.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just disgusting. I hope both the mom and grandmother fry.

A 46 year old grandmother and a 9 year old granddaughter? The math on this is scary.
Yeah being a grandmother at 37? That is ridiculous.

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Really? My 7 year old runs around for hours on end. I mean, I am assuming she wasnt sprinting for 3 full hours. I dont know, something else seems fishy. I just cant imagine a kid outside running around for 3 hours would kill a healthy 9 year old child.
Yeah there are probably a lot of factors that could have lead to her death. She might have had a previous condition, they might have made her sprint, she might not have had any water for some time, the Attalla weather might have contributed to it and maybe the grandmother and mother are lying about how long she was running for.

Very tragic story.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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there's something wrong here if she was dehydrated she probably didn't drink before she ran i'm not saying it was right for her to run but i'm not saying the grandmother should go to jail maybe if they find hard evidence to lock her up.....
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That is nauseating. Can someone do the math? I'm in the middle of preparing a big presentation and don't want to let my brain get sidetracked.

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Yeah being a grandmother at 37? That is ridiculous.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That is nauseating. Can someone do the math? I'm in the middle of preparing a big presentation and don't want to let my brain get sidetracked.
I calculate that the grandmother had her child at 18.5 and then the mother at 18.5 as well. Which doesn't sound too bad if you were back in the 30's. Or maybe one had the child at 20 and the other at 17??? Or 22 and 15!!!!

You're going to be thinking about that the whole presentation
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Bahaha...no...it's not until Tues. I'm just getting it ready.

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I calculate that the grandmother had her child at 18.5 and then the mother at 18.5 as well. Which doesn't sound too bad if you were back in the 30's. Or maybe one had the child at 20 and the other at 17??? Or 22 and 15!!!!

You're going to be thinking about that the whole presentation
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That's sad! It's just like running a horse to death!
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:23 PM   #17 (permalink)
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LOL dudes... she wasn't 'running around' like your kids do. She was forced to RUN for three hours. I don't know of any runner of any age that can run for three hours without hydration, and probably starting with poor nutrition, and who would NOT die or be severely hurt.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Over a candy bar? Sounds like the step mother had some resentment issues with the kid. This makes me very sad.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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'Something else seems fishy' as in the parent/grandparent should not be charged, the kid had it coming? Or 'something else seems fishy' as in that isn't the whole story.
No. As in it doesnt seem like the whole story. It seems odd to me that running around for 3 hours in February would dehydrate someone to the point that they have a seizure and die a few days later.

As in it seems like she was being starved/mistreated/malnurished in other ways that led to her death.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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My suegra (mother-in-law) was a grandmother in her late 30s. It's just odd, cause her youngest child and oldest grandchild are only a few years apart.

Most of the time, it's due to either demographic or geographic reasons...

And this story is insanely sad.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #21 (permalink)
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No. As in it doesnt seem like the whole story. It seems odd to me that running around for 3 hours in February would dehydrate someone to the point that they have a seizure and die a few days later.

As in it seems like she was being starved/mistreated/malnurished in other ways that led to her death.
Well I hope that they get to the bottom of it.

If she was starved/mistreated/malnurished then they better not be taking care of any children in the near future.

Idiots.....
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My suegra (mother-in-law) was a grandmother in her late 30s. It's just odd, cause her youngest child and oldest grandchild are only a few years apart.

Most of the time, it's due to either demographic or geographic reasons...

And this story is insanely sad.
lol didn't expect to read suegra on the blowout forums. Yeah it's quite common in the latino community. I had a neighbor who was older than her uncle. Yeah wrap your head around that one BostonNut
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
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OK, as a former runner, I will tell you that even for someone who runs a lot, running for 3 hours straight is a very difficult thing to do, moreso with no water (in fact, I would not do it without water). (For reference, I was one of the top runners locally and only went on a run longer than 3 hours one time and that was a 30 mile run on my 30th which took me just under 4 hours. We would always plan any route longer than 14 miles so that we could get water during the run...on hot days we would plant water bottles along the 14 mile route as well. 14 mile runs typically took an hour 35 minutes).

There is a reason marathons set up water/gatorade tables along the course and it is not just to advertise for gatorade.

mgugs, your 7yr old niece may run for hours on end but not continuously. There is a HUGE difference. I cannot imagine forcing a child to run for that length of time. I would not expect any underlying health issues would be necessary to cause this outcome.

This saddens me and angers me at the same time.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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on a small child like that it doesn't take very long to start suffering from dehydration. This girl probably didn't weigh more than 60 pounds. You would need fluids every 20 min or so to stay even somewhat hydrated. That's just sad anyone would be stupid enough to treat a child that way.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:17 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I'm not passing judgement here, but this just screams white trash.

Very sad none the less.
I was kind of thinking the same thing.
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