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Heroic 16-Year-Old Girl Saves Younger Sister From Mom Who’d Just Killed Her Other Little Sister

St. Helena Island, SC – A 16-year-old girl saved the life of her eight-year-old sister after discovering their mother trying to drown her in the family’s bathroom, according to investigators.

The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on May 19, WUSA reported.

Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said during a press conference that the 16-year-old girl was asleep when she was awakened by the sound of her eight-year-old sister screaming.

The teen ran to the bathroom and found her mother, 37-year-old Jamie Bradley-Brun, attempting to drown the little girl, Sheriff Tanner said.

The elder daughter fought with her mother and was able to wrest her sister away from her, WUSA reported.

The two girls then ran to a nearby family member’s home and called 911.

When deputies arrived at the scene eight minutes later, they discovered Bradley-Brun and her unresponsive six-year-old daughter, Mackaya Bradley-Brun, at the scene, WCSC reported.

Deputies and paramedics performed CPR in a desperate attempt to save the little girl, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital a short while later, WUSA reported.

Investigators said they believe Bradley-Brun drowned the child prior to trying to drown her eight-year-old daughter.

As she was being arrested, Bradley-Brun allegedly tried to grab a deputy’s duty pistol and was subsequently Tased.

She was booked into jail on charges of murder and attempted murder and was being held without bond, WUSA reported.

Sheriff Tanner said the eight-year-old girl did not suffer any serious physical injuries as a result of the attack.

He credited her sister for saving her life.

“I’m very proud of her. I think she did an unbelievable job,” the sheriff told WUSA. “She defended her family when no one else was available. Her courage is amazing.”

Sheriff Tanner refused to comment on Bradley-Brun’s mental state at the time of the incident.

“I’m not a mental health expert,” he told reporters. “It’s not my job to determine if someone has a mental health problem.”

The sheriff said he is unable to release any other details regarding the ongoing investigation, WUSA reported.

Bradley-Brun had no prior criminal history, according to NBC News.

Her two surviving daughters have been placed in the care of family members, WUSA reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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