Baton Rouge mother facing handful of charges in disturbing child neglect case
BATON ROUGE – Police arrested a mother after discovering four hungry children living in filthy conditions with sores and soiled diapers.
Tamara Johnson, 37, was charged with criminal abandonment, cruelty to juveniles and improper supervision charges along with various traffic offenses.
Police said they found Johnson’s four children – an 11-month-old, one-year-old, 11-year-old and 5-year-old – living in their home in the 2800 block of Seneca Street with no food, no furniture and no refrigerator. The investigating police officer wrote in an arrest report Johnson left the kids to fend for themselves with “no necessities” for hours on end.
Police said they investigated a similar issue with Johnson in May when her kids were reported to be wandering around their neighborhood unsupervised late at night but were gone when they arrived.
Friday morning, police were called once again when Johnson’s five-year-old was crying after being locked outside the house. When the officer arrived, they discovered the other kids in the home and arrested Johnson when she showed up.
Police said Johnson had been at work – her second job – since midnight. She told officers she worked two jobs and was rarely home.
The oldest child was usually assigned to watch the younger kids and had missed 12 days of school in August and September, police said.
The 5-year-old was sick with a fever and the older child had a rash and scars that were not cared for, police reported.
Trash covered the floor of the house, police wrote in a disturbing report on the criminal investigation.
The police report did not specify what happened to the children once Johnson was detained, but it’s typical for authorities to notify child services or have the children cared-for by a family member.
Johnson remained in jail Saturday. No bond had been set.
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