Police say a 15-year-old autistic girl is recovering after her parents held her in a small room and didn’t feed her.
Police said the teen showed signs of other abuse, as well, according to a report from WSB-TV in Atlanta. Police believe the girl, who weighed only 60 pounds, was kept in a closet-type area of a house that was only 2 by 2 feet.
“It reeked of feces and urine, and the floor was sticky, apparently,” said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Ed Ritter.
Her mother, 35-year-old Jade Jacobs, was jailed on child cruelty and false imprisonment charges. Detectives also have charged her husband, William Brown, 40, but officers are still looking for him.
The apparent abuse was noticed when the girl’s mother took her to Scottish Rite Hospital and told doctors she “could not do it anymore.”
Doctors said the victim had bruises all over her body. Doctors said they also noticed wounds indicating the girl had been restrained. They said they believe the abuse had been going on for a long period of time for the sores to develop.
Jacobs told the hospital that her daughter’s bruising came from a fight with one of her three siblings and said the malnourishment was because the girl refused food, according to the incident report.
But the hospital staff quickly began to doubt the story and a nurse reported the suspected abuse to police.
“The nurse said she (the girl) ate everything we gave her and she was looking for more food,” Ritter said. “She wanted to eat.”
No one answered the door when WSB-TV's Tony Thomas knocked Monday. Neighbors said the family just moved into the home a few weeks ago.
“It’s heartbreaking because how could you do that to your child, your blood?” neighbor Jalysma Humphries said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.