The 28-year-old Mother abandoned her children, a 5-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl, in her vehicle on Monday afternoon. The children were found naked and wandering two miles away from where Fields had parked her car. They were unharmed. When police were called to the scene, the children told them that their mother had left them to “look for God.”
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Law enforcement went on a hunt to find Bender using tracking teams and K-9 units. Police received a call from a fisherman who had remembered seeing Bender on Tuesday night near a road where her body was ultimately discovered. The caller stated that she had been sitting on a rock and seemed to be immersed in scripture from the Bible that she had been toting.
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Police suspect Bender was distressed, went wading in the river, and drowned.
Although an autopsy has not been performed, authorities believe that the young woman took her own life. Police investigators found no bruising or wounds of any kind on her body.
According to Bender’s family, she had been “going through a tough time,” so officers suspect that she was probably emotionally fragile and at a breaking point. She had lost her mother and a young child in 2009. Bender was also going through a legal ringer, battling for the custody of her 10-year-old daughter in court.