A Tennessee mother is facing criminal charges after her 6-year-old son with developmental disabilities allegedly showed signs of being severely abused and was living in deplorable conditions.
According to WHBQ, Andrea Caldwell, 32, was discovered in a hotel room on December 8–eight months after the Department of Children Services began looking for her. There, a social worker reportedly found Caldwell’s son covered with bed sores and bruises, matted hair, and reeking of urine.
Caldwell reportedly admitted to police that DCF got involved after she failed to bring her son to 13 hospital appointments. Police said the child was born with severe developmental disabilities and required frequent medical care.
The mother is also accused of giving her son baby food after his feeding tube became too clogged. Her decision supposedly resulted in the child losing nearly 30 pounds–with him wasting away to a mere 13 pounds by the time DCF found him. The child was taken to the hospital, where police said he was found to be dehydrated and “extremely malnourished,” the station wrote.
Authorities also noted that social services provided the mother with nutritional materials free of charge but she never used them.
Employees at the Welcome Inn told the station that Caldwell had been staying at the hotel for about a month with her mother and two sons.
The 6-year-old and his 4-year-old brother are currently in state custody; the younger sibling is in a foster home while the 6-year-old is still being hospitalized, according to WREG.
Caldwell was charged with aggravated child abuse/neglect and is being held on a $175,000 bond.
[Featured Image: Andrea Caldwell/Shelby County Sheriff’s Office]