PRESHO — Two women are facing charges out of Lyman County after a baby was left in the box of a stranger’s truck on a near 100-degree day.
Court filings show Corisa Bush, 31, of Rapid City, faces attempted murder, aggravated assault and child abuse charges, in addition to three other drug-related charges. She was babysitting for Chanice Clough, 21, the rescued child's mother, who faces drug ingestion charges.
An arrest affidavit says campground guests at the New Frontier Campground in Presho were heading out to eat when they noticed a backpack on the ground behind their truck. Upon approach, they heard an infant crying, which was located in the box of the pickup. One of the guests headed to the campground office to call police while another secured the baby.
The responding officer wrote that upon arrival, the infant, less than 6 months old, was “non-verbal but alert, and her hair was slick with sweat.” Temperatures in the area peaked at just shy of 100 degrees that day. The baby was transported by ambulance to Sanford Chamberlain Hospital.
Authorities searched the backpack and found several formula bottles, unused diapers and a hypodermic syringe with a clear liquid, which was “consistent with the appearance of methamphetamine.”
Once additional law enforcement arrived on scene, a search of the area began for the infant's mother. The affidavit says officers found Clough travelling in a vehicle within Presho. She and the driver were interviewed by an agent from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.
During questioning, authorities located Bush “laying in the ditch of 306th Ave just north of SD 248,” approximately an eighth-mile from the campground. She was detained and questioned at the Presho Fire Station.
Bush allegedly told authorities she watching the infant for Clough in a temperature-controlled room at Hutch’s Motel, across the street from the campground, when she began feeling paranoid. She admitted to walking to the campground, busting open a screen on a pickup box’s topper, placing the baby inside and leaving the bag.
The affidavit says Bush believed Clough, whose residence is listed in Box Elder, S.D., would be able to find the baby, and authorities believed Bush’s behavior during the interview was “consistent with the use of illegal drugs.”
Bush was then arrested on probable cause and later charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor.
After entering no plea to attempted murder and drug paraphernalia charges, Bush pleaded not guilty to four other charges. The attempted murder and drug paraphernalia charges were recharged by complaint on July 2. Her next appearance is scheduled for Aug. 5.
Clough was also charged with one drug-related felony, to which she pleaded not guilty. She was released from jail on personal recognizance, and her next appearance is scheduled for July 8.
Lyman County State's Attorney Steve Smith said there will not be further charges against Clough regarding the wellbeing of the child.