PUTNAM COUNTY, Ga. - A Putnam County mother is accused of severely abusing her daughter, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
An investigator told Channel 2’s Mark Winne that the 23-year-old victim was locked in a filthy bedroom. Her hair was matted and her body was covered in sores, filth and injuries. Officers say it was so bad that she was not immediately discernible as a human being.
A veteran police officer called it the worst case of abuse he’s ever seen.
Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence estimated her weight was about 42 pounds. He suggested that the abuse may have been going on for years.
Lawrence said she was so tiny and in one cradled position so long that she was almost easy to overlook in a room littered with waste, trash, blood and more.
“When I looked at her and told her that I had help on the way she smiled,” he said
He brought in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to work the case with his department.
GBI director Vernon Keenan says last year the Legislature granted the GBI eight additional agent positions to handle the increasing workload for cases involving the abuse of elderly or disabled adults, some of Georgia’s most vulnerable victims.
Lawrence and GBI assistant special agent in charge Ryan Carmichael said the victim’s 40-year-old mother, Felicia Nelson Clements, is charged with cruelty to a disabled person, cruelty to children -- pertaining to two siblings of the 23-year- old -- and false statements. The mom’s boyfriend, 25-year-old Galvin Evans, is accused of cruelty to a disabled person.
The chief says a caller tipped police and an officer checked the house on New Street, but the mother denied to an officer having anyone bedridden. The officer says the bedroom door was locked and “Ms. Clements claimed it was an aunt’s room.” The officer told the chief and they returned together.
“The mother lied. We went back, and I also found out something else while we were there -- today is the victim’s birthday,” Lawrence said.
He says his department sent flowers to the hospital.
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