DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. (Court TV) — A mother accused of taking her two young, minimally-clothed children into the freezing, rainy woods overnight is being charged with murder after the youngest child died, presumably from exposure.
On the late morning of Jan. 16, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) said they responded to a call made by 35-year-old mother, Uriha Faith Ridge, who was allegedly lost with her children in the woods.
With the assistance of the Foxhall Resort hotel, where Ridge and her kids were said to have been staying, police located the mother and her kids, Elijah and Alina, in a wooded area far from the hotel.
Police noted that the children, ages 3 and 7, were soaking wet and inappropriately dressed for the below-freezing temperatures they were found in, possibly causing them to become hypothermic.
Once found, the deputies immediately began to render aid before all three were taken to the hospital where Alina, dressed only in a onesie, died from exposure and her seven-year-old brother was hospitalized.
While police have said the investigation is still “very active and ongoing,” they did make several discoveries early on, including cocaine and marijuana, which authorities believe Ridge consumed before and after wandering into the woods around midnight.
Despite having a fully charged cell phone, the call for help was not placed until the next morning at 11:51 a.m., which means the three of them were out in the elements for an estimated 8-10 hours.
Ridge, who is being held without bond at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Jail, has been charged with Felony Murder and two counts each of First and Second Degree Cruelty to Children.
Documents obtained by Court TV revealed that this wasn’t Ridge’s only open case. The mother was arrested in Nov. 2022 after causing a drunken scene at a ThunderZone family entertainment center in Douglasville.
The prosecuting officer said Ridge, who appeared intoxicated, was yelling “vulgar, profane loud and unbecoming” language at her two kids, who were two and six at the time. The officer said Ridge was seen punching her son in the back of the head and dragging him across the bowling alley. She was also cited for pulling her daughter away from others, and then drunkenly dropping her from shoulder level.
Ridge has secured a public defender to represent her at her first court appearance scheduled on Monday, Jan. 29 at 9:30 a.m.