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Girl, 8, walked miles in woods after car crash to help mom, who was later found dead

After the car crash, the mom and daughter left the vehicle to start walking. "It appears they got lost and slept in the woods overnight," a detective said.

An 8-year-old girl in Georgia walked for miles in the woods to find help after her mother crashed their car into a ditch.

The girl was found safe after a civilian saw her wandering alone on Tuesday near Riceboro in Liberty County, about 38 miles southwest of Savannah. Her mother, Mandi Morehouse, was found dead later that day.

The discovery came after Morehouse and her daughter were reported missing in neighboring Long County, where they lived.

Liberty County police Det. Michael Albritton told NBC News that the missing-persons report was filed after Morehouse reportedly sent a message saying she was stuck on the side of a road and needed help.

Albritton said investigators believe the crash happened Sunday evening. It's not clear where Morehouse and her daughter were going.

After the crash, the mother and daughter got out of the vehicle and began walking in the woods trying to find help.

"It appears they got lost and slept in the woods overnight," Albritton said.

At some point, Morehouse became unresponsive and the girl continued walking through the woods alone trying to find help.

Albritton said the child was found Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. after a citizen in the area stumbled upon the abandoned car and then found the girl wandering alone.

The detective said the girl was wet and cold when she was found, but appeared to be OK. She is now with family members.

Morehouse was found dead around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, in the woods more than a mile from where the car crashed.

Albritton said they don't believe there is anything suspicious about her death and are waiting for the autopsy results.

Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes praised the child for her bravery.

“She was very, very helpful," he told NBC affiliate WSAV in Savannah. "She’s a brave little girl and she’s to be commended for her part in finding her mother and bringing this thing to a conclusion."