Moore County mom pleads guilty after son wanders from home, drowns

23-month-old Rylan Ott in a photo from the Aberdeen Times and an image of Samantha Nacole Bryant from the Moore County Sheriff's Office.

CARTHAGE, N.C. (WNCN) — The mother of a Moore County boy who drowned after wandering away from home will spend at least 19 months in prison.

Samantha Bryant of Vass pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and negligent child abuse on Monday.


Her son, Rylan Ott, drowned in a pond last year not long after he was returned to Bryant’s care.

Bryant had been accused of child abuse in the past, and court documents show she was under supervision by the Department of Social Services and on probation when Ott disappeared.

The death of the 23-month-old led to an investigation into the Moore County Department of Social Services and the resignation of its director.

Bryant was arrested in October 2015 on two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

Documents show the state deferred prosecution in February 2016, as long as she cooperated with DSS and her probation officer.

Ott’s death helped create a bill named “Rylan’s Law” which looks to help to ensure the safety of children returning from foster homes.

Authorities said that Bryant pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement reached earlier this week.

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