A man panicked and drove his car, along with his daughter in it, into a river when he saw officers approaching him.

According to the authorities, the girl's father was driving under influence at the time of the incident. The man's body was pulled out from the river by the authorities, where he landed after crashing his pickup truck, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet told NBC News. The 2-year-old was not found and is reported missing.

On Wednesday morning, just like every other day, the father and mother went to work, and their daughter went to daycare. The mother said that the people in the small community of Leon, about 30 miles east of Wichita, had informed her that they had seen the man at the grocery store buying alcohol with their daughter, according to the sheriff. The father had picked up the girl early from her daycare after she got sick.

"She tried to call him to bring the child home, and he said, 'No. Don’t worry about me and the child, we'll be fine.' She got worried about that," the sheriff told NBC News.

The woman then called up and informed the Leon police department that her boyfriend was possibly intoxicated and driving with their daughter. Later on, around 6.45.p.m., when the police located the father, he was near Walnut River with the girl on his lap. The police slowly approached them on their foot and asked him to give them his daughter since he was in an intoxicated state.

According to Herzet, the encounter began peacefully when they told him that they need to take his daughter as he didn't have a car seat, but the 44-year-old man soon panicked and drove off into the walnut River.

"This is a very tragic event. There’s bad judgment on the part of the dad. Driving around in a vehicle with alcohol and not having the child in a child-safety seat," Herzet said. "It’s tragic for this community of Leon for the fact they know the mother, they know the father. The mother grew up in this town. And they had this child together. It’s a sad day in Butler County and in Leon today,"

The names of the woman, her boyfriend, and their child have not been released by the police. The recovery efforts were still ongoing for the girl.

Crime Scene
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