Police are saying it’s a “miracle” two young boys were able to survive for days in the Arkansas heat – without food or water – after their mother was killed in a car wreck.
Lisa Holliman, 25, died in a car accident believed to have occurred on Friday or Saturday, police said. But her children, ages 3 and 1, weren’t discovered until Monday.
Police said Kylen, 3, was located just before 8 a.m. Monday walking along Arkansas State Highway 24 outside of Camden, KLRT-TV reported.
Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office initially posted a photo of the toddler on social media. Shortly after, family members reached out to identify him, telling authorities his mother hadn’t been seen for days. When officials went back to where Kylen was found, they discovered a car wreck in a deep ravine – impossible to see from the road, according to KLRT.
Holliman was discovered deceased and ejected from the vehicle, but her 1-year-old son was still in his car seat. Officials said he was a little sideways and upside down, but he was alive and alert.
Holliman’s father, James, called his grandson a “hero” for climbing out of the car through the sun roof and walking several hundred yards to get attention and help.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle – God’s blessing – that these children were able to survive this accident.”
Deputy Nathan Greeley told KATV it was incredible the two toddlers were able to survive for several days without food and water and in extreme heat. Temperatures reached well into the 90s over the weekend.
“Today is anything but short of a miracle – the 3-year-old and 1-year-old being able to survive in the elements [of], you know, southern Arkansas with how hot it is, the humidity,” Greeley said. “We’ve had precipitation since then, and like I said, it’s nothing short of a miracle – God’s blessing – that these children were able to survive this accident.”
Both boys suffered from dehydration, according to KLRT, and the 1-year-old was still being treated at Arkansas Children’s Hospital as of Tuesday but is expected to survive.
James said it was like his daughter to take her children “everywhere she goes.”
“I’ll never get up and see her, I’ll never get to talk to her, laugh with her. My baby’s gone,” he said.
Holliman was four weeks pregnant at the time of her death, her father told KLRT.
Camden is about 87 miles southwest of Little Rock.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.