Former Laurinburg resident charged in baby’s death

By: By Beth Lawrence - Staff reporter
Harlee Lewis

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. — Former Laurinburg resident Breanna Lewis has been charged in the death of her daughter, Harlee Lane Lewis.

Court records show that Lewis was charged this week with murder/homicide by child abuse in the death of the 11-month old.

The 19-year-old mother was scheduled to appear in court Thursday to have bond set on the murder charges, but Lewis waived the hearing.

The arrest report for Lewis on the murder charges states, “inflicted injuries about the body of her 11-month-old daughter that were non-accidental.”

Lewis reported that she had been attacked and the baby kidnapped on May 29.

Law enforcement officials found the baby dead in a field behind the home just hours later. Her body had been placed in a plastic bag and concealed a diaper box.

A judge in the case issued a temporary gag order on June 7.

Lewis also faces charges of felony giving false information to law enforcement, desecration or removal of human remains and destroying, altering, concealing or tampering with physical evidence in connection with the body of her child, after she originally reported to Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office that she had been attacked and Harlee taken.

Deputies responded to Lewis’ home on Daisy Lewis Lane at 1:39 p.m. on May 29 in reference to the kidnapping.

Lewis originally told authorities that the man “pulled up next to the mail box at the end of her driveway, got out and made sexual advances on her and started hitting her in the face causing her to fall down and almost pass out,” according to incident report.

An Amber Alert was issued and a search ensued with deputies responding to the home in different directions hoping to catch the kidnapper. Anson County Sheriff’s Office was also called when Lewis reported that the attacker in the direction of North Carolina. Chesterfield lies on the North Carolina border near Anson County.

Chesterfield authorities later contacted Scotland County law enforcement when Lewis told them that someone from Laurinburg had been involved.

Investigators soon began to suspect that Lewis was lying and canceled the Amber Alert.

“As she told the story again and again, it began to unravel,” said Sheriff Jay Brooks in the days after the baby’s body was found.

Searchers found Harlee’s body at 4 p.m. that day.

Investigators said that Lewis later admitted to lying about the assault and abduction.

Detectives also suspected that Lewis was either on drugs or mentally ill.

“Breanna Lewis has stated traumatic experiences cause her to black out, and claims to have no recollection of when or how her child went missing,” Brooks said.

An autopsy was conducted and the results released to the State Law Enforcement Division, but they will not be made public because Harlee was a juvenile.

Early on in the investigation Brooks said they were concerned because Harlee appeared small for her age and that there had not been child-appropriate food in the home. Social Services was asked to aid in the investigation.

Lewis, attended Scotland High School in 2013 and recently held jobs in Laurinburg. She does not have a previous criminal record in South Carolina, according to law enforcement.

Harlee Lewis Lewis


By Beth Lawrence

Staff reporter

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169