Police: Boy Starved, Locked in Room, Medicated

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(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) Police are reporting an extreme case of child abuse in North Memphis.

Investigators say an 8-year-old boy was starved, locked in a bedroom, heavily medicated, and beaten.

The boy's mother faces charges for the crime.

They have charged 43-year-old Charresa Noel with abuse and neglect.

The 8-year-old is in the care of the Department of Children's Services.

Police say the child had bruises on his face from being beaten after his mother caught him trying to get something to eat.

“It’s heartbreaking actually,” said Shawn Williams, who lives in the apartment complex off Vollentine where the alleged abuse occurred.

According to court papers, someone told police about the abuse going on inside the Cabana Circle apartment.

When police got there, they found the 8-year-old boy with a cut and swollen eye and knots on his head.

The boy told investigators his mom beat him with a broom when he left the bedroom to get something to eat, after he hadn't eaten all day.

The victim reported being continually locked in the room and not ever getting enough to eat.

Police say the child also said he was given medication throughout the day, making him sleepy.

Police checked the bottle, and it was only supposed to be given at night.

“Medicating? That's torture, in my opinion,” Williams said.

“Would this child come through here?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Quite possibly, yes,” said Barbara King, the executive director of the Exchange Club.

King says since the boy is now in the care of DCS, he may come to her offices for therapy.

The Exchange Club treats hundreds of abused children, although King calls this case 'extreme.'

“It’s equally as bad, the psychology abuse and the physical abuse, and obviously this child had both,” said King.

“Somebody saw something and reported it. What do you think about that?” asked Hall.

“Thank goodness,” she said.

King says it’s everyone's legal responsibility to report child abuse even if they just suspect that it's going on.

Noel is due in court next Tuesday. Her bond is set at $2,500.

DCS says the mother and son were living  with someone else at the apartment complex. The police report says a woman in the home would sneak the child food at night so he could eat.