Deborah Oats mugshot

Police: Mom ‘out clubbing’ while malnourished child, left in filthy, roach-infested apartment, asks neighbors for food

A Georgia woman is behind bars after she reportedly left her young daughter alone at home in a decrepit apartment, devoid of food, on Saturday.

NBC 11Alive reports that James Fisher, neighbor of an 11-year-old girl and her mother at a Marietta apartment off of Bells Ferry Road, received a knock on his door at around 7 p.m. on Saturday evening. The little girl next door, clearly in need, asked for food. Fisher invited her in, made her a large plate of spaghetti, and let her play with kittens.

“It was pretty obvious, she wanted help. She wanted us to do something about it.”

The child’s mother, Deborah Oats, was allegedly out at a club when the incident occurred. Fisher said that the little girl fell asleep on his couch and by 2 a.m., Oats still hadn’t arrived home. That’s when he decided to call the police.

“It’s just unacceptable for a mother to do whatever she wants when she has a kid at home,” Fisher said.

After calling the police, Fisher and his wife, Meara, brought the girl back to her apartment, but as soon as they opened the door, they saw roaches crawling all over the walls, throughout the kitchen area, and on a broken air conditioner.

“It looked like furniture was overturned,” Meara Fisher told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “ … There was excrement everywhere.”

The excrement, along with an abundance of fleas, came from several pets found in the home. Further, James Fisher said he noticed “fungus growing” on the kitchen and bathroom floors, dirty dishes and dog food piled up in the sink, and “junk” stacked everywhere.

Oats finally arrived home at just before 3 a.m. Authorities arrested her and charged her with second-degree child cruelty charge. The child is now with the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS).

As of Friday, Oats was still in jail at the Cobb County Detention Center, on a bond of $11,220.

[Feature Photo: Cobb County Sheriff’s Office]