Autopsy in on Mo. toddler found dead on creek bank

MARSHALL, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri coroner says preliminary autopsy results cite extreme dehydration and heat exposure as the causes of a death of an 18-month-old girl whose body was found Sunday on a creek bank.

Saline County Sheriff Wally George says the girl's mother was hospitalized, and investigators haven't been able to talk to her about what happened to her daughter. The mother showed up disoriented at a stranger's house near Marshall on Saturday night and said she recalled leaving her daughter near a creek.

The woman's car was found abandoned Thursday.

Saline County Coroner Willie Harlow said on Monday evening that early autopsy results showed the child died of extreme dehydration and heat exposure. He says toxicology reports are still pending, and those will take up to eight weeks to finalize.

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