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Grandpa Who Left 5-Year-Old Granddaughter in Desert With a Loaded Handgun Gets 6-Month Sentence


Grandpa Who Left 5-Year-Old Granddaughter in Desert With a Loaded Handgun Gets 6-Month Sentence (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

The bizarre case of an Arizona grandfather who left his 5-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert with just a gun came to a close this week after Paul Rater was sentenced to jail for felony child abuse.

Rater made national headlines in November after his granddaughter was reported missing and later found in the desert armed with a loaded handgun while Rater was later found eating and drinking at a restaurant.

On Monday, Rater reportedly pleaded guilty to child abuse and sentenced to six months in prison, according to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Read: 8-Year-Old Girl Choked To Unconsciousness By Man in the Women's Bathroom: Cops 

According to Maricopa County authorities, the trouble began when Rater took the girl for a ride in his new truck. They reportedly got lost in the desert and then the truck somehow became stuck.

After the two were forced to set out on foot, prosecutors say Rater left the girl behind after she was unable to walk any further.

Authorities became aware of the missing girl when her mother reported her disappearance.

Read: Woman Seen Fighting Off Armed Carjackers in Astonishing Video Says She Forgives Attackers

According to the incident report, the victim told her grandmother, "I don't know why papa left me. I was calling out for him. He took me by some bushes, gave me a gun and left," KPHO reported.

Cops ended up using a helicopter to track her down, but it was a firefighter on an ATV who ended up hearing her cries. When they finally caught up with her, she was holding the 45-caliber handgun, which was loaded and cocked, authorities said,

Rater was quickly tracked down at a local store, and he admitted to abandoning his grandchild in the desert, KPHO reported. He reportedly said he went for a few drinks and a cheeseburger after leaving her there.

Watch: 9-Year-Old Carlie Trent Found Safe 8 Days After Uncle Allegedly Kidnapped Her