Mother and Daughter Drown Running from Police - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Mother and Daughter Drown Running from Police

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A mother/daughter pair drowned while fleeing after they tried to shoplift underwear, earrings and a necklace from a store in southeast Charlotte Friday afternoon, police said.

A 16-year-old girl's body was found Saturday after being swept away by flood waters during the getaway from Burlington Coat Factory, police said.

The body of Rianna Tarell Johnson was recovered from the banks of McAlpine Creek Saturday afternoon. Her mother, 43-year-old Gracie Johnson, drowned on Friday after the shoplifting incident and she was found the same day, police said.

It was a sad ending to a story that begin just at 2 p.m. on Friday with an attempted shoplifting of $39 worth of items from a nearby clothing store.  

The larceny was reported just after 2 PM at a Burlington Coat Factory Clothing store and involved 3 suspects, police said. 

When heavy rains that dumped 6 inches in Charlotte hit the area, two of the suspects from the robbery escaped into waters near the store, police said. One was apprehended immediately and did not enter the water, police said.

A security guard for the store tried to apprehend the two in the water at first, but could not do so alone.

Swift-water crews were later called out to the location at Independence Blvd. and North Sardis Road.

Rescue crews say the creek usually 2 feet deep rose about 10 feet shortly after the rain began.

"Rushing water is extremely dangerous. Oftentimes people mistake how fast, how deep the water is," Kinniburgh said.

The search was called off around 8:30 Friday night and began again at 8:00 Saturday morning.

In a four hour period, Kinniburgh said fire fighters responded to more than 240 calls for service. They made 80 rescues from rising flood waters – mostly motorists or people stranded in their homes and evacuated 3 apartment complexes.

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