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Child Found Abandoned In Woods, Told To ‘Wait For Jesus’

March 22, 1987

BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. (AP) _ Searchers found a 2 1/2 -year-old girl in some woods Saturday, 20 hours after her mother abandoned her and told her ″to wait for Jesus,″ authorities said.

Season Feather, of Smithfield, Pa., was found about 1 p.m. in woods about a mile from the field where she was left, said Jo Ann Dearth, communications operator for the state police in Uniontown, Pa.

Despite spending the night in near-freezing temperatures, the child appeared in good condition except for some scratches and bruises, state police said. She was taken to the West Virginia University Medical Center for evaluation.

An estimated 100 volunteers and police in both West Virginia and Pennsylvania had been looking for the child since Friday evening. Search teams had spread out across a 40-mile area around Bruceton Mills and across the West Virginia border in Smithfield and Jumonville in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Season and a 12-year-old girl apparently were left in separate places around 5 p.m. Friday by their mothers, Geri Feather and her friend Stella Weeks of Georges Township, said state police Cpl. Stanley Foss.

The 12-year-old, who was not identified, was found unhurt Friday evening near Smithfield and turned over to juvenile authorities, Foss said.

″There was some type of religious involvement,″ Foss said. ″They felt that the children were possessed. They left them abandoned ... and told them to wait for Jesus, that the Lord would come and get them.″

The Pittsburgh Press reported Saturday that a neighbor called police when the two women began tossing out clothing and furniture from their mobile home near Smithfield.

A state police trooper who asked not to be identified told the newspaper the women told him, ″Jesus is coming. We’re sitting and watching for him.″

Police then found the 12-year-old girl sitting on a hillside about 50 yards from the trailer. It was only when they talked to the girl that they learned about the toddler, police said.

Uncertain where Season had been left, police immediately began combing the area. The search was called off shortly before 4 a.m., resuming at daybreak.

The child’s father, Robert Feather, who assisted in the search, said he could not understand why his wife would abandon the child.

″All she told me on the phone was, ’I’m sorry, I’m sorry,‴ he said.

Police declined Saturday to say whether the women would be charged, saying only that they were being questioned and detained at a hospital.

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