Young Child Back In Home Of Mother Accused Of Neglect

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(Memphis) New and disturbing allegations about a Mid-South woman accused of starving her mentally disabled daughter.

There are questions about why another one of Jennifer Cotten's daughters still lives with her, and police say that 5-year-old witnessed one of her sister's being attacked.

Not even three months after a disabled woman weighing only 55 pounds was taken from her custody, it appears Cotten is still caring for her other child.

“We’ve seen the young little blond toddler-like child and the woman playing in the yard,” said neighbor Robin Lankford.

Police say Cotten's 5-year-old daughter  just witnessed domestic abuse and a stabbing in the home.

Cotten's boyfriend William King is in jail after police say he choked Cotten October 20 and punched one of her adult daughters, Rachel, in the face.

That daughter fought back stabbing King so many times it sent him to the hospital last month in critical condition.

“There was a man bleeding on his door step,” said another neighbor.

Court documents show all of the violence took place with the 5-year-old around.

Cotten temporarily lost custody of the child when investigators found her disabled daughter Rebecca in a hot car during the Summer with the windows rolled up.

Nurses called the 20-year-old "severely malnourished".

Somehow, Rebecca was also around the house During the October violence.

“What freaked me out was when a child was being carried out,” said Lankford. “The disabled child being carried out by like maybe a grandfather.”

Rebecca's uncle still cares for her but says Rebecca was with her grandfather that day, who apparently still lets her visit her mother.

“They brought the disabled child back three hours later with the lady who lives there,” said Lankford.

As for the five-year-old girl, the Department of Children services says she was given back to Cotten a few days after the allegations she was starving and neglecting Rebecca.

DCS says police never contacted them about this latest crime.

“Somebody is not doing their job,” said a neighbor on Tutwiler.

“How does this happen? And I think the state should take the children away and give them the best care that they can. The children are victims here,” said Lankford.

Cotton’s neglect allegations are expected to be heard by a grand jury in January.

Her boyfriend King is still locked up because family members say they don't want to bond him out.


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