Mother Celebrates Birthday, While Infant is Home Alone
LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (WHNT) – Lawrence County Tennessee authorities say a woman left her 9-month-old son home alone for several hours while she went out of town to celebrate her birthday.
Not only is this act shocking, police believe it may not be the only time the infant has been left alone.
Investigators with the Lawrenceburg Police Department call it a case of neglect that should never have happened.
“As we all know, all of us that have children, a child’s life can change in the blink of an eye,” says Lawrenceburg Police Capt. Don Laws. “And if you’re not there to take care of the child, anything can happen.”
On Tuesday police arrested Jodi Beth Bell for a felony count of child abuse.
According to Lawrenceburg police, the events that unfolded began Saturday night when Bell left town.
“Went to Columbia with some friends to celebrate her birthday, and at the same time left her 9-month-old child home alone in a play pen, with the doors unlocked to the house,” Capt. Laws explained.
Investigators say hours passed by with the child confined to its playpen.
Just after 2:30 Sunday morning, Laws says Bell called a neighbor to get something out of the apartment.
“It wasn’t even to go into the house to check on the child, it was to go into the house to get a set of keys. That’s when the neighbor discovered that the baby had been left home alone.”
With a dirty diaper and hungry, the neighbor took the child home with her until Bell returned to Lawrenceburg around 5:30 Sunday morning.
Lawrenceburg police say the 9-month-old and a 5-year-old have both been taken into state custody.
Jodi Beth Bell has been released on a 25-hundred dollar bond.