Georgia Woman Arrested for Abandoning Her Starving Disabled Son at a Hospital.
A Georgia mother was arrested this week for abandoning her non-verbal, disabled, son at an Atlanta hospital. Diana Elliott, 37, was seen on hospital surveillance walking hand-in-hand with her 14-year-old son into the hospital on December 4th. Elliott walks him in to the hospital, never checks in with a receptionist and is then seen getting into a red van and leaving without him.
"Just before midnight, Grady staff found the 14-year-old alone outside the hospital, Atlanta police said. Officials said he had no identification and appeared malnourished.
“Attempts were made to communicate with him, but he did not respond to verbal or written communication,” police said in a statement. “It appears as though he has a diminished mental capacity and may have Down syndrome.”
Authorities released a photo, taken from hospital surveillance footage, of the unknown pair and tips started pouring in. In almost no time Elliott was identified and apprehended.
When she was questioned by police Elliott stated that she was overwhelmed trying to care for her son and her other three children with no help or support system.
A group called Black Mothers Bail Out pledged to pay Elliott’s bond. However, it was not needed as the judge allowed Elliott to remain free without bail until her next court date. Attorney Brian Jarrad — who has three adoptive sons with Down syndrome — is representing the mother-of-four pro-bono.
Carla Griffin, a mother who revealed to WXIA that she left her own son with Down syndrome in an emergency room when he was 17, told the court that Elliott could live with her while she was out on bail.
Georgia has a safe haven law, which allows a mother to drop off a newborn at police or fire stations or medical facilities without fear of prosecution, according to the Division of Family and Children Services. The law only applies to babies up to 30 days old. The baby must be handed to someone at a police or fire station or hospital, but parents do not have to provide their names.
We do not condone what Elliott did HOWEVER we are thankful that she took him to a safe place. Even if she did leave him alone. There have been countless other stories where overwhelmed parents have done far worse and their children have wound up seriously injured or dead.
The Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services is currently in custody of all of Elliott's children and they are being evaluated.
This is why the "village" is important. We hope this family gets the support they need and that these children will be properly taken care of.