A couple were reportedly found jogging naked down a Louisiana beach after allegedly leaving their 20-month-old daughter to fend for herself, officials said Wednesday.
Cody and Monique Bourgeois allegedly left their little girl alone miles from where they were found on Holly Beach on Tuesday morning, Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson told INSIDE EDITION.
"There was a citizen that found a child that was ... alone walking on the beach and called it and reported it," Johnson said.
Emergency responders and officials from the Department of Child and Family Services rushed to the beach after receiving the call at 10:16 a.m. and found the tot — sunburned and ridden with mosquito bites — and brought her to a local hospital to be examined, Johnson said.
"She was looked at and she was released to her grandmama," he said, noting that the girl's relatives were first investigated and deemed to be suitable guardians before the child was released.
About two miles away, authorities located a running Ford Explorer, which was later determined to belong to the girl's parents.
The child's parents were also found a few miles down the beach, naked and running around in the sand, Johnson said.
"We didn't locate the parents until 12:14 (p.m.)," Johnson said. "They were running down the beach nude. They were trying to tell the investigator, 'Well, we went swimming and the water washed our clothes off of us.'"
Johnson said neither parent asked about their daughter until officials brought her up.
"The investigator said, 'Well let me ask you a more important question (than where your clothes are); Are you missing anyone?' And the father said 'yes, I believe we're missing our daughter.' The investigator said, 'well we have your daughter and she is safe, no concern it is of yours.' And he (the father) just hung his head," Johnson said. "I've had several mamas and grandmamas offer to take that little girl."
Johnson said the ordeal left him upset as well.
"It broke my heart. I thought about that last night and just about went into tears," he said. "Whenever you think about how close that little girl was to death, to the water. I don’t know why she didn't go to it (the water) except for God stopped her from doing it. That poor little girl out there, alone, mosquitos getting at her. I don't understand. That's what everybody wants to know, is why, and I certainly don’t have an answer."
Both mother and father were arrested and charged with child desertion and obscenity, authorities said. They remained in police custody Wednesday, Johnson said. It was not immediately clear who was representing the pair.
"We think they were under the influence of some type of narcotics," Johnson said, declining to go into specifics until results from toxicology reports were in. "They weren't combative, but they did try to run away. But that didn't last very long. They quickly understood we had a vehicle and they did not."
Child protective services was investigating the incident.
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