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Indiana baby found in field after tornado dies; death toll at 39

March 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An Indiana toddler found in a field after violent tornadoes died Sunday after being taken off life support.

Fourteen-month-old Angel Babcock of New Pekin, Ind., was found after her family's mobile home was destroyed in Friday's storms. Her father, mother and two siblings were killed.

When Angel arrived at the hospital Friday night, she was opening her eyes - a hopeful sign. But things turned the next day when the swelling in her brain didn't decrease and her eyes ceased to move. There was no sign of brain activity. The family made the decision to end life support on Sunday.

"Angel has been reunited with her parents," her grandfather, Jack Brough, said in a statement. "We want to thank God for all of you and for your thoughts and prayers. God will bring you and all of us out of this. This is what it will take. All should look to God."

The death toll from Friday's storms across the Midwest and South is 39. The cleanup effort in some places was hampered by snow on Monday.

From the air, the destruction shows the cleanup is going to last for a long time. In Tellico Plains, Tenn., the town is picking up after a twister - 300 yards wide, traveling at 120 mph - left enormous destruction.

Overnight, a winter storm system moved into Henryville, Ind. Tornado-ravaged residents now have to deal with snow. Although the First Baptist Church was damaged, neighbors took time out from sorting through debris to gather and worship.

Amid the enormous destruction, there were some amazing survival stories. Across the street from where the Babcocks lived, Jeanie Louellen's home of 45 years was demolished, but she's thankful her family made it.

"I got my family. That's all I care about," she said.

Another family in Charlotte, N.C., is thankful, too. Three of the family's children were sucked out of the house when the twister struck. All of the kids were hospitalized, but none had serious injuries. The doctors gave the children a special nickname.

"They looked at them and couldn't believe it," said the children's father. "They called them miracle babies."

Thousands were still without power Monday as crews worked to replace downed power lines. Temporary cellphone towers were brought in to some areas. The National Weather Service issued nearly 300 tornado warnings from Friday through early Saturday.

See photos of the aftermath of the storms across the Midwest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.