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Mother charged after 1-year-old son died in Hurricane Florence

Kaiden Lee-Welch

Union County, N.C. Sheriff's Office via CBS affiliate WBTW-TV

MONROE, N.C. -- The mother of a 1-year-old who was swept into floodwaters created by Hurricane Florence has been charged in the boy's death. The Union County Sheriff's Office said in a statement posted on its Facebook page that 20-year-old Dazia Ideah Lee of Charlotte is charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving on a closed or unopened highway. 

"The tragic death of this child and the circumstances surrounding this case are heartbreaking," Sheriff Eddie Cathey said in the statement. "We continue to pray for all those suffering as a result of this child's death. However, after a very thorough investigation and taking all facts into consideration and applying the law, we feel that these charges are appropriate."

Authorities said the water from a rain-swollen creek pushed Lee's car off the road and left her stuck in a group of trees on the night of Sept. 16. Lee said she was able to get Kaiden Lee-Welch out of the car, but the water caused her to lose her grip. 

Multiple law enforcement teams searched for Kaiden that night and again in the morning, when his body was found.

Lee told news outlets she wasn't from the area and was unfamiliar with the roads. She is due in court Nov. 20.