Alabama authorities have arrested a stepmother and grandmother for forcing a 9-year-old girl to run for 3 hours last week, as punishment for eating the grandmother's candy bars. Without getting the proper water or salt intake for 3 intense hours of running Savannah Hardin collapsed and suffered seizures. She later died at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, of a cardiac arrest.

Deputies were told that the girl's grandmother Joyce Hardin Garrard, 46, made Savannah run as punishment for eating her candy bars. Around 4pm, neighbors say they noticed Savannah running, but saw no one chasing after her, so they didn't think much of it. Others were concerned and called 911 after seeing the girl running outside of her home.

Savannah's stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, 27, called police around 6:45 p.m. and reported that the young girl had collapsed, having a seizure and was unresponsive. When paramedics arrived, they immediately knew something wasn't right.

The sheriff’s press release said an autopsy report showed Savannah was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium (salt) level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.

[via WashingtonPost]

Jessica Mae Hardin and Joyce Hardin Garrard were both arrested and are each currently being held on a $500,000 cash bond. To make matters worse, the girl's stepmother just gave birth to another child yesterday and is currently still under guard at the hospital.

Read the full story here.