MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis mother is behind bars after authorities said they obtained horrifying evidence she abused her disabled son.
According to sources, the boy- who was born with severe developmental disabilities - was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in early December by a worker with the Department of Children's Services.
She told police DCS had been searching for the 6-year-old boy since May 2017 after hospital employees made them aware that his mother, Andrea Caldwell, had failed to bring him to 13 scheduled doctor appointments since April. His medical records also indicated the pattern may extend back to more than a year, police said.
When the worker finally located the family in a Summer Avenue motel, the boy's condition was allegedly downright alarming.
According to reports, the 6-year-old had bruises and bed sores on his body, matted hair and even smelled of urine. Even worse, the mother had been feeding him baby formula after his feeding tube became so dirty it clogged. The result: the boy only weighed 13 pounds when DCS found him — a recorded loss of nearly 30 pounds since March.
"I don't like that at all," said Stacie Broussard, who has also been staying at the motel.
She thinks she may have seen the mother and noticed police cars in the parking lot. The mother of four says she can't imagine treating her child that way.
"No, no. That's crazy!" said the mother.
Employees at the Welcome Inn told WREG they couldn't talk on camera, but say they didn't know police were here last week.
They say Caldwell had been staying there for about a month with her mother and children. Her mother is still checked in at the motel.
"That is bad - that is really sad. There is no excuse for that," said Broussard.
Authorities said Caldwell was receiving free nutritional materials from social services but failed to use them.
Both 6-year-old Jaremiah Caldwell and his 4-year-old brother are in state custody. The 4-year-old is in a foster home and Jaremiah is still at Le Bonheur.
She has been charged with aggravated child abuse.