Two people were charged with murder after authorities say they ran a 9-year-old Alabama girl to death as punishment for eating a candy bar on a school bus. Click below to read the rest of the story.


Authorities say that Savannah Hardin’s stepmother, Jessica Hardin, and grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard, told her to run for three hours after they caught her lying about eating the candy.

One official told WBRC-TV that Savannah may have had a bladder condition that could have been worsened by eating the candy bar.

In the middle of the run, the 9-year-old suffered a seizure from dehydration, authorities told The Associated Press. Her stepmother called for help, but Savannah died at a hospital in Birmingham on Monday.

On Wednesday, her stepmother and grandmother were arrested and may face murder charges in the grade-schooler’s death. They are both being held on $500,000 bond in the Etowah County Jail.

Shortly after being arrested, Jessica Hardin gave birth in a local hospital while under guard of deputies, the TV station reported.

Neighbors told The AP they were shocked by the girl’s death.

“I saw her running down there, that’s what I told the detectives,” Roger Simpson, who lived near the family, told The AP. “But I don’t see how that would kill her.”

Gail Denny, who lived up the street from the family, said she had known them for years.

“My grandson asked [Savannah\] to be his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, and she said ‘yes,’ ” she said.

According to WRBC-TV, preliminary autopsy reports show that the 9-year-old died of dehydration and low sodium levels.

“Basically she was caused to undergo physical exertion to the point in time where she just got dehydrated and her electrolyte levels got to the point where she couldn’t survive life,” Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp told the TV station.

Savannah’s father, who was working overseas at the time, took eight flights to get home and made it to the hospital four hours before the girl’s death.