The Saline County Sheriff's Department started the search for the toddler after the girl's mother appeared at a home disoriented. Authorities had been looking for the mother since Thursday morning after her possible involvement in a stolen pickup.
The pick-up was found abandoned in a wheat field about noon Thursday in Saline County, Mo. Officers were unable to find anyone around the truck.
Authorities were then contacted by the family of the mother and informed officers they had been unable to locate her and her 18-month-old daughter with her.
Officers then searched the area where the pick-up was located Saturday morning and again could not find anyone.
The sheriff's department was then contacted by someone who said that the missing woman had shown up at their house about 11:30 p.m. Saturday and was extremely disoriented. They told authorities that she did not have her child with her, but she remembered leaving her daughter on a creek bank.
Authorities then asked for volunteers to assist in searching for the child. About 40 people helped in the search. Volunteers located the child's body near the river bank about 1:15 a.m. Sunday.
Authorities are still investigating the child's death and will be sending reports to the Saline County prosecuting attorney on Monday for his review.