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Grandma says abducted girl ‘in good hands’

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The woman charged with kidnapping and drowning her granddaughter in the Snake River said Monday the 19-month-old child was "in good hands" during a brief jailhouse interview.

The comment came during a conversation between Kelley Jean Lodmell, 38, and her mother, Linda Lodmell, who is the girl's great-grandmother.

Kelley Lodmell has been in the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls, Idaho, since her arrest on May 26 for allegedly kidnapping Acacia Patience Bishop from the Salt Lake County home of Linda Lodmell.

Kelley Lodmell drove the girl to Idaho Falls, where law enforcement officials and court records indicate she jumped into the Snake River while holding the baby in an apparent murder/suicide attempt. Lodmell also told detectives she and her granddaughter "needed to go to heaven," a search warrant states.

During a five-minute visit through a glass window at the jail Monday, Linda Lodmell said her daughter was emotionless under questioning about Acacia's whereabouts and apparent death.

"There was no emotion, nothing," Linda Lodmell said.

Lodmell said she asked her daughter at least four times what happened to Acacia.

"I asked her where the baby was and she said that she's in good hands," Linda Lodmell said. "I asked her if she hurt the baby and she said, 'She's in good hands.' "

Throughout their brief encounter, Kelley Lodmell kept ringing a bell to call jail deputies in an effort to end the conversation, her mother said.

"The last time she said, 'She's in good hands with All State' and kind of laughed," Linda Lodmell said.

Before leaving the room, Kelley Lodmell blew her mother kisses and said, "Write me," Linda Lodmell reported.

Linda Lodmell visited her daughter at the request of Acacia's parents, who still believe that Kelley Lodmell lied to police about the the girl's death.

"It was difficult because I didn't want to go see her," Linda Lodmell said, adding that she believes her daughter has killed the girl, as police believe.

Despite such grim conclusions by investigators, Acacia's father, Adam Bishop, remained optimistic Monday that his daughter is still alive.

"We still feel that she's alive and out there," he said.

On Monday morning divers again searched the river near the spot Kelley Lodmell told police she entered the water with the baby, but the divers found nothing, Idaho Falls Police Lt. Ken Brown said

"We haven't had anybody on the water today," he added.

Meanwhile, family members continued to canvass the town, passing out fliers and hoping to scare up clues. Adam Bishop said family members have run into people who reported seeing Kelley Lodmell at local gas stations, bars and homeless shelters anywhere from two weeks to two years ago.

Seven or eight family members remained in town Monday to help in the search, with that many more expected to arrive Tuesday, Adam Bishop said.

Family members also passed out waterproof fliers to boaters and visitors along the Snake River featuring a photo of the clothes Acacia Bishop was believed to have been wearing at the time of her alleged drowning — a one-piece blue button-up outfit.

The family has also announced a $5,000 reward for the girl's safe return.

E-MAIL: djensen@desnews.com