Mother arrested, charged after leaving son with mental disabilities at hospital

She allegedly told police that taking care of him was just too much.

ATLANTA — A woman has been charged after her son with diminished mental capacity was dropped off at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Diana Elliott, 37, was arrested and charged with cruelty to children.

The 14-year-old was left at the hospital Dec. 4.

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Just before midnight, a nurse spotted the boy hanging out alone outside the hospital. She brought him inside and let social workers take over.

“The adult female walked outside with the young man and left him there. She then left the area in a vehicle,” said Atlanta police Lt. Jeff Baxter.

The boy had no identification and appeared malnourished.

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After our story aired Tuesday on Channel 2 Action News, tipsters called police and told them Elliott was staying at a Decatur motel with her three other children.

Officers found her there, arrested her and charged her with child cruelty.

Officials tried to communicate with the boy, but he did not respond to verbal or written communication, and it appears as though he has a diminished mental capacity and may have Down syndrome.

Elliott told police she felt "overwhelmed" caring for the boy and three other children.

The young man is being cared for at Grady Hospital and is in the custody of Georgia’s Division of Family and Child Services.

“I think it should be dealt with a different way. I really don’t think her intention was to abandon her child, but I think more it was so that she was asking for help but didn’t know how to do it,” Lavonna McKoy said.

McKoy used to be homeless herself but now she goes from motel to motel to help struggling parents like Elliot.

If you know a parent who needs help, have them dial 211. An operator will direct them to some resources.