Angel Babcock is buried; toddler mourned amid tornado destruction

Angel Babcock, called Indiana’s “miracle toddler,” was buried Monday, ending one story of hope as Midwestern crews trying to clean up after last week’s tornadoes battled worsening weather.

The toddler’s grieving grandmother told on Sunday she had thought of the girl as her “guardian Angel.” With her granddaughter’s death, Kathy Babcock said, she no longer had one guardian angel: “I have five.”

Angel’s mother, Moriah Babcok, her father, Joseph Babcock, an infant sister and a 3-year-old brother were killed Friday when a tornado destroyed their mobile home in New Pekin, Ind.

Angel’s survival had been called miraculous after she was found in a field near the home and was able to open her eyes. But her condition deteriorated and she died Sunday of extensive head and neck injuries, Reuters reported.


The news outlet had a statement from the child’s extended family that said, in part: “Angel has been reunited with her parents. We want to thank God for all of you and for your thoughts and prayers.”

Destruction by tornadoes is known to be capricious, and Midwesterners can often provide stories of amazing survival as well as grief.

One toddler gained notoriety in 2008 after a tornado hit near Castalian Springs, Tenn. As the Associated Press reported at the time, Kyson Stowell, 11 months old, was sucked from his crib by a tornado that demolished his home. His mother was killed.

The baby was found in a nearby field, motionless and face down. But he recovered from his injuries -- a collapsed lung, gashes and scrapes. The baby, later nicknamed Tumbleweed, was being cared for by his grandparents.

In southern Indiana on Monday, emergency services continued to mobilize as snow fell, compounding the misery of those hit hard in recent days by tornadoes, The Times reported this morning.

The death toll in Indiana stood at 13, including Angel. The total of those killed in five states hit by tornadoes reached 39.