Ind. Dad Learns Fate After Driving into River, Causing 2-Year-Old Daughter to Drown

Jeremy Sweet was sentenced to prison for being under the influence of meth when he drove his truck into a river, leading to his daughter's death

<p>GoFundMe, FOX59 News/YouTube</p> Emma Sweet

GoFundMe, FOX59 News/YouTube

Emma Sweet

An Indiana man was sentenced to four decades in prison after pleading guilty to his role in the November 2021 drowning death of his 2-year-old daughter.

Jeremy Sweet of Columbus, Ind., was sentenced on Tuesday, June 11, to 30 years in prison for the felony charge of neglect of a dependent and 10 additional years as habitual offender enhancement after he pleaded guilty to his role in the drowning death of Emma Sweet, per Fox News and ABC affiliate WRTV.

Sweet and his daughter were last seen together on November 24, 2021, and were reported missing by a family member the next day, which was Thanksgiving, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Fox News reported that Emma likely died on November 25, a day before Sweet, now 41, was rescued by duck hunters after his truck accidentally fell into the White River.

Authorities believe that Sweet drove his truck into the river from an embankment 15 to 20 feet above the body of water.

Sweet told authorities he got lost on a dirt road while trying to move the truck, which eventually went over the embankment and into the river.

Emma's body was found by divers on Sunday, November 28, 2021, two days after Sweet was found and taken to the hospital for treatment.

The day after his daughter's body was found, Sweet admitted that he was "high on meth and marijuana when he drove the car into the river," per Fox News.

He initially told authorities Emma had been safely out of the vehicle when the accident occurred, but later admitted she was in the car and he'd transferred her to the roof for safety. Police found evidence that indicated someone was holding onto the windshield of the vehicle at one point.

Per the Indianapolis Star, Sweet said he last saw his daughter on the roof of his truck, “yelling for her mom," before he fell asleep inside the truck.

Fox News reported that Emma's cause of death was "complications of hypothermia and asphyxia due to drowning," and per WRTV.

Sweet later charged with two felonies, per Fox News: unlawful possession of a syringe and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

At the time of the incident, Sweet was on bond for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon as well as possession of methamphetamine, the sheriff’s office said per Fox News.

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During his sentencing on Tuesday, he apologized to his ex-wife for his role in his daughter's death.

"There’s nothing I can say to change what has happened,” Sweet said while crying, per The Republic. “But I swear to God on everything I love that I’m so sorry.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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