Lt. Sheppard and his team collected clothes, blankets, and underwear from Sophie's room. He was the sole caregiver,” Lt. Sheppard said. Is there anything I could have done faster? Soon enough, while the investigation in Troup County stalled, Sophie, her brother and mother also disappeared. Apparently, the victim had made another outcry about another person in Meriwether County, in Greenville that they were turning in to the GBI to investigate.”, Sheppard continued, “the two interviews were night and day. Thrash had been raping his 9-year-old cousin while playing stepfather to the child, the DNA test indicated. ► WATCH | The Reveal Sundays at 6 p.m. on 11Alive. You can tell when someone is desperate for help," he said. Vietnam vet covered in ant bites at VA facility before he died in Atlanta, family says. “We sent the evidence for DNA analysis to the GBI. It'd been two years since her initial outcry and it seemed Sophie had finally caught a break. Her mother was also arrested in connection to the crimes. ► Hear from Sophie Wednesday, Nov. 13 on Up Late at 11 p.m. on 11Alive (You can watch it on our news app as well. They're first cousins so naturally, he wanted to kill him,” Sophie’s grandmother said. That’s right: the man who was accused of molesting Sophie was her own relative. That’s what Sophie’s mother also thought as Thrash charmed his way into her life. It was Lt. Sheppard's first sign that Sophie’s mom would become one of the biggest obstacles in his investigation into the sexual assault her little girl. And she acted surprised. The Indiana Attorney General has responded to the brief, arguing that everything was done according to the law in Thrash’s case and his sentence should be affirmed by the appeals court. Thrash was arrested by police in Indiana in May 2017, after authorities discovered the girl was pregnant. And I'm in the process of pursuing this case. She was just 10 at the time. It airs Sunday nights at 6 on 11Alive. “They ask for [Sophie] and she's already crying in the van.”, ►SPEED FEED: Sign up for daily news updates. 10 YEARS OLD AND PREGNANT Court records obtained by the 11Alive investigators confirm, by then, Sophie was more than five months pregnant. Never shown any kind of care. She's the one who put forth the effort to try to cover it up.”. We are using the name Sophie to help protect the identity of the little girl. Seven months after a judge sentenced her attacker to 160 years in prison, the young girl whose mother’s boyfriend impregnated her when she was 10 is getting ready to start a new life. "How does a 9-year-old make something up that graphic and traumatic? Authorities say the 35-year-old started the abuse in Georgia when Sophie was as young as 8 years old and it continued for years until she became pregnant while living in … Is there…you know. It wasn’t until Sophie's mother tried to get her 10-year-old daughter an abortion that Indiana investigators found them. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. Your daughter was telling the truth. Who? She calls and talks to her relatives in Georgia every day, and is looking forward to eventually getting a job and being able to provide for her child. Sophie’s mother reunited with Thrash. “ I went back, I go through my notes, is there anything I could have done differently? WATCH | The Reveal investigations on our 11Alive YouTube channel. ►PREVIOUS | Mom admits to allowing boyfriend to molest her 10-year-old daughter. She sent the grandmother who came to let us into the house.”. He says the test came back on July 24, 2016, indicating there was the presence of foreign matter but the actual confirmation didn’t come until Nov. 30, 2017. Sophie is now in a mental health facility, according to her grandmother. However, the woman admitted in court that she moved to Indiana with Thrash and continued to live with him along with the child. The Reveal is an investigative show exposing inequality, injustice, and ineptitude created by people in power throughout Georgia and across the country. It was his girlfriend's daughter. But waiting on it to come back, trying to find some more physical evidence, some more witnesses, and working on that, then mom disappeared. Police were watching Sophie and her brother as they got off the school bus into her grandmother's van. Sophie had her baby just days shy of her 11th birthday. Sophie, her brother, and her mother were once again under the same roof as her abuser. “Looking back, I think maybe I got some tunnel-vision on the investigation. RELATED: Sophie Speaks: How a Georgia mother allowed her boyfriend to impregnate her 10-year-old. He was hiding in Indiana. She said the now-12-year-old has tried to take her own life several times. “She's very special. Sheppard remembers finally tracking Sophie's mother down to tell her by phone. According to Sophie’s grandmother, the Georgia girl is now out of the mental health facility she was checked into in Indiana late last year for exhibiting suicidal behavior. It was short-lived. They contacted the Georgia Division of Family and Children (DFCS) which set up a safety plan to keep the perpetrator away from Sophie. “Talked to her on the phone and she said 'Nana, can I still play with Barbies even though I have a baby?' And that would be the mother,” Sheppard explained. By what I suspect now, the mother had concocted it. She was separated from her newborn when she was sent to the mental health facility late last year, shortly after both her mother and Thrash were sentenced. The baby will never be normal again. She and her brother were constantly being shuffled from one relative's home to another. She grew up barely knowing her father, he was in prison. State authorities in Indiana have placed the child in foster care. Coronavirus in Georgia | Latest data for Tuesday, Oct. 27, FULL SPEECH | Former VP Joe Biden addresses supporters during Atlanta drive-in rally, Unusual merge of Zeta and winterlike storm could unleash heavy rain, snow in Northeast, No injuries reported as the Blue Ridge Fire burns, World champion Christian Coleman, Georgia native, banned 2 years; to miss Tokyo Olympics, College GameDay will air from the Masters, Augusta National says, Sophie Speaks: How a Georgia mother allowed her boyfriend to impregnate her 10-year-old. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. I couldn't get her on the phone,” Sheppard reflects. Mother posted 'I could not ask for better children' before allegedly killing. They didn’t need a test to see the evidence on the child’s clothing. The Deon I knew at that time, he was stealing cars and stuff like that. The … It's all a big mistake.' He never, ever gave anyone an impression that he would touch any child. The second story was not believable, but it put doubt on her first story.”. She was 8 years old when he began sexually assaulting her. It also gave Sophie's mother the excuse she wanted to believe to stay with her boyfriend. You can also watch past episodes on our 11Alive YouTube channel. Sophie’s grandmother also lives with regrets, knowing she could have fought harder to force Sophie’s mother to leave the kids with her when she took off. He believes the length of his sentence is not appropriate, the trial court improperly admitted evidence showing Sophie and the newborn baby at the hospital, and he was improperly removed from the courtroom following several outbursts alleging the child he impregnated was promiscuous during his trial. “That she claimed that he had touched her,” said Sophie’s grandmother. Sophie had realized during sex education class that the man who was touching her at home was sexually abusing her. Very, very, sick. They alerted police, and officers were now telling her grandmother about her outcry. As the 11Alive Investigators have uncovered, it's a little more complicated than that. In my opinion, it looked as though the second interview, as if, she was given the answers to tell the investigators before she went into the interview.”, Sheppard says “it was a ploy to try to take attention away from Nicholas Thrash. According to Sophie’s grandmother, the now-13-year-old mom is doing emotionally well. “At the time, we didn't have a warrant on paper yet because there's believing somebody but then there's getting the evidence to get the warrant,” Sheppard explained. This case needs to be dropped. “She would just leave them with him. All of them are but she was born pre-mature, yellow jaundice,” her grandmother told investigative reporter Faith Abubey as they sat on a park bench near her home in Coweta County. DFCS doesn't comment on its cases so 11Alive has not been able to confirm that claim. Coronavirus in Georgia | Latest data for Tuesday, Oct. 27, FULL SPEECH | Former VP Joe Biden addresses supporters during Atlanta drive-in rally, Unusual merge of Zeta and winterlike storm could unleash heavy rain, snow in Northeast, No injuries reported as the Blue Ridge Fire burns, World champion Christian Coleman, Georgia native, banned 2 years; to miss Tokyo Olympics, College GameDay will air from the Masters, Augusta National says. It was a positive match. “One of us told him that your daughter accused him. ► RELATED | Sophie's Nightmare: How a Georgia mother allowed her boyfriend to impregnate her 10-year-old. “This is one of those cases that makes you regret because I did everything, she did what she was supposed to do, she went and told somebody, told an adult, The wheels were set in motion,” Sheppard said, somberly. “Do you think your daughter was in denial?” Abubey asked Sophie’s grandmother. And the kids. Crying.” Sheppard recalled. “There was never a sign at all of any kind of child molestation. Sophie’s mother took a deal and pleaded guilty to neglecting, aiding child molestation and assisting a criminal. Thrash was sentenced to 160 years. The Hogansville investigator said he's working to make sure Thrash never gets out of prison through any legal loophole. “He had her believing that she was a queen. She even let him move in with her and the kids in Troup County. As we felt like we were getting closer and speaking with prosecutors and felt like we were honing in on this case, I got a call from Greenville, in Meriwether County. She pleaded guilty to charges of neglect, aiding child molestation and assisting a criminal in exchange for a reduced sentence. Her mom was always working. And I asked her point blank, have you had any contact with Nicholas Thrash? ►PREVIOUS | Mom admits to allowing boyfriend to molest her 10-year-old daughter. “Where is Nicholas Thrash? As for the other systems that failed Sophie, her grandmother says two DFCS workers were fired for dropping the ball in this case and allowing Sophie’s mother to flee to Indiana.