A 6-year-old boy with developmental disabilities has been found living in a hotel covered in bruises and bed sores and weighing only 13 pounds. According to Fox13 Memphis, the Department of Children Services (DCS) had been looking for the boy’s mother, Andrea Caldwell, and her two sons for over eight months. Upon discovering them in a Memphis, Tennessee hotel room last week, DCS took away both of 32-year-old Caldwell’s children: the 6-year-old and a 4-year-old.
A DSC worker claimed the boy’s feeding tube was “dirty and clogged, and did not appear to be operable.” In addition to that, Caldwell was allegedly feeding the child baby formula, which did not meet his nutritional needs. Police said she was given free nutritional materials by social services, designed for the child’s needs, but that Caldwell failed to use them, Fox 13 Memphis reported.
The child also allegedly smelled of urine and he was suffering from matted hair, WREG reported. After he was taken to a hospital, he was found to be “severely malnourished” and “dehydrated,” according to police. He reportedly weighed a little over 50 pounds in March, when he was last seen by a doctor. According to Fox 13, since then he’s missed about 13 appointments.
Caldwell has been charged with abuse and neglect and is currently being held on bond. It is unclear if she has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf. Her mother, June Caldwell, has defended daughter in conversations with the press.
"She has been taking care of this baby since the day he was born,” June told Fox 13, adding that the allegations are untrue.
Caldwell’s sister also spoke to the station, saying, "I know it’s breaking her heart because her kids is [sic] all she has. They even took her 4-year-old son. I don't believe it was 13. I know she missed a few because I wrecked the car and she hasn't had any transportation.”
The boy is currently still at the hospital undergoing treatment. His younger brother is reportedly in foster care.
“I just don’t understand why this is happening,” Angela Caldwell, the boy’s aunt, told WRCB-TV. “She's took very good care of him since he was born.”
[Photo: Shelby County Sheriff's Department]