Mom not charged for dumping disabled daughter at bar

Lynn Cameron (Caryville Police Department)

Lynn Cameron (Caryville Police Department)

Abandoning a child who needs help is never right, but it’s not always illegal.

A Chicago-area woman who drove to Tennessee to dump off her mentally disabled 19-year-old daughter will not be charged, police said Tuesday in The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Police in the tiny town of Caryville had tried since June 28 to figure out the identity of the young woman. A break in the case came 10 days later when a Chicago-area resident recognized the daughter on a missing persons website and alerted authorities, who contacted the mom – Eva Cameron, 45, of Algonquin, Ill.

The mom traveled back to Tennessee to speak to police, not to pick up her daughter, Lynn Cameron, who has the mental capacity of a toddler and could not identify herself or her mother.

“[The mom] said that she did not want her, that she couldn’t take care of her and that she wasn’t going to take her back to Illinois,” said Caryville police Assistant Chief Stephanie Smith in The Chicago Tribune.

“She let her out to use the bathroom and drove away,” Smith said Tuesday. “She said she just couldn’t handle her anymore.”

Cameron, who has another mentally disabled child, cannot be charged because the daughter she abandoned is legally an adult.

Cameron told The Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago that she drove her daughter to Tennessee because it has the “No. 1 health care system in the United States of America” and she wanted the best for her child. She also said her church directed her there because it is a more Baptist area.

Tuesday, the daughter became an official ward of the state of Tennessee.

147 comments Add your comment

nicole

July 11th, 2012
9:45 am

Absolutely tragic

Victoria

July 11th, 2012
9:51 am

What kind of parent does that to their child? Especially one who is mentally handicapped? How tragic for this poor girl. She has the mental capacity of a toddler, so imagine a toddler being left all by herself and never seeing her mother again. How terrible this world is.

Mike

July 11th, 2012
9:56 am

Her church advised her where to take her? You reap what you sow

Sandra

July 11th, 2012
10:02 am

This mom needs a dose of her own medicine. Does she really go to church?

gadem

July 11th, 2012
10:04 am

wow…there are some terrible parents in this world.

missinformation7

July 11th, 2012
10:10 am

This is too sad.

scum_are_everywhere

July 11th, 2012
10:14 am

I hope and pray the mother gets terminal cancer ASAP!

vcorrilo

July 11th, 2012
10:17 am

Wow, what a shame!!! I can’t believe a parent would do such a thing to her child.

Keri

July 11th, 2012
10:19 am

One of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read.

glenda

July 11th, 2012
10:23 am

why should the state of tennesse be responsible for taking care of this womans child… how long will it be before she brings the other unwanted child down down here for the citizens of tennessee to keep up……..this should not be allowed

RAMZAD

July 11th, 2012
10:23 am

Tennessee also started the Klan.

Danny O

July 11th, 2012
10:24 am

What did the mom say to friends and family who were wondering what happened to Lynn?

I'm not going to Judge.

July 11th, 2012
10:25 am

Very tragic. I pray that the girl gets the care that she deserves.

sheepdawg

July 11th, 2012
10:26 am

another sign of our sad times

grow-up

July 11th, 2012
10:27 am

So I guess one of you will be going to adopt her? NOT, I think it’s time people grow-up. Rwanda, Darfur, Chechnya to name a few. People being killed just to kill them “millions”, and someone complains about someone that has the mental capacity of a toddler being dumped.

Lucretia

July 11th, 2012
10:34 am

It is a sad shame that the mother won’t be held responsible. Whether she is an adult or not she had the mind of a toddler. What kind of laws would protect a mom like that. Sad, sad world that we are living in.

Spring-Fresh

July 11th, 2012
10:35 am

You can also look at this situation in a different way. I am not validating what she did, however I am glad she opted to do it this way (best way she apparently knew) than to murder her child. If you all remember just recently the AJC and media outlets reported a case where the mother of a disabled/mentally challenged child had been abused/neglected and eventually murdered by her mother. So please don’t be too hard on this mother because until you have walked in her shoes you don’t know how it feels. Finally she did try to keep her for 19 years.

Emma

July 11th, 2012
10:36 am

I almost dropped a few tears…this is sooooo sad.

Gram

July 11th, 2012
10:37 am

Sorry…but she isn’t a “child”. She is legally an adult…and as much as we hate what that mother did, she was well within the law. Now, if you want this changed, you need to petition Washington D.C. to change the laws the include the mentally retarded as a “child”, no matter his/her age.

nofreecheese

July 11th, 2012
10:37 am

“Let ye without sin cast the first stone.” While she didn’t handle the difficult situation appropriately, she shouldn’t be vilified. She has accepted the physically and emotional responsibility of caring for her mentally disabled for 19 years and finally cracked. Most of us have children which require much less effort to raise and care for, yet we begin the process of pushing them out of the nest when they become young adults. I’m not defending her actions, but unless you have walked in her shoes, do not judge her.

Tammt

July 11th, 2012
10:37 am

They should give the daughter a job opening beer bottles in a bar.

Tinker

July 11th, 2012
10:37 am

Perhaps I assume too much, but I would assume the mother would have been receiving some kind of $$$ Benefit (perhaps SSI, etc.) for this daughter. In order to receive the $$$ would she not have to be the legal gaurdian, thus making her responsible and breaking the law by dropping the child off? Then again maybe she was not receiving $$$ from the state. Regardless, she sounds like a dirtbag!

ForReals?

July 11th, 2012
10:38 am

Does Tennessee really have the best health care system in the US? That can’t be correct … can it?

Name (required)

July 11th, 2012
10:38 am

Churches make people do stupid things. This lady is going to hell in a handbasket.

Tragic But Legal

July 11th, 2012
10:38 am

This mother has another mentally challenged child at home…maybe the MOTHER is passing on that gene to her kids. The mother, herself, needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist, too.

Tragic But Legal

July 11th, 2012
10:41 am

If she was receiving benefit for that child, she would no longer receive it once the child becomes an adult.

Georgia girl

July 11th, 2012
10:41 am

Yes, the mother did the wrong thing, but maybe now the young lady will get much better care than she probably had in the past.

Pat

July 11th, 2012
10:45 am

As horrific as this sounds, perhaps I need to walk in the woman’s shoes to understand the mental, physical and financial stress that would drive her to this. The church recommending this method, THIS I can’t believe. Maybe they could have helped lighten her burden instead..

Mommy

July 11th, 2012
10:46 am

Maybe this is the ONLY way her daughter would get the help she needs. The “system” in Chicago (as well as here in ATL) obviously could not help her and possibly the Mom did the best she could given her situation. I see my own friend struggle with her child with a mental illness. The ONLY way she was able to get help was when the young adult committed a crime and THEN did the state/county see she needed help. Why does it come to that?! Sad situation all around. I hope they all get some much needed help…..

Kristy

July 11th, 2012
10:47 am

While I agree this is a horrible thing to do, at least she did not kill her like so many other women who can’t handle their children.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

July 11th, 2012
10:50 am

stay classless, tammt

j

July 11th, 2012
10:50 am

i see both sides of the argument but i have to side with one … can you imagine, as a child, stopping for a bathroom stop and then coming out and not seeing your family anywhere? How tragic can that be? Regardless of the situation, there have got to be other ways if you can no longer take care of your child. yes, i may not have walked a mile in her shoes but this is still a terrible way to abandon a child.

Auntie Christ

July 11th, 2012
10:51 am

What if she had the mental capacity of an 11 year old, would it have been all right to abandon her then? At what age equivalent level would it have been okay to abandon her? I ask this because the great state of GA will be executing a 52 year old man next week who has the mental capacity of an 11 year old, in essence killing a child. I am willing to bet that many of the commenters here would say it is reprehensible to abandon an 11 year old, yet would say it is permissible to kill one, in the name of “justice.” Amirite?

Laura

July 11th, 2012
10:52 am

The article said the girl could not either “identify herself or her mother”, so why do you think she would even have the capacity to miss her? She doesn’t even know who she is! Some of you are very naive. Once the girl turned 18, the mother could not get SSDI paid to her, it would go to the girl, unless she had a legal guardian who was willing to be responsible for her or… she had been made a ward of the state, which is exactly what the State of Tennessee did. You cannot possibly even begin to imagine how physically, mentally, and emotionally draining caring for this girl would have been, especially with another disabled child, but some of you are going to find out in due time, whether caring for sick, physically challenged, aging parents or spouses. If this happens to you, let’s see how you feel about it after about 6 months or so. Oh yes, don’t forget the monetary costs that will be involved either. They are going to be staggering, even with Obamacare.

Cmdr. Shepard

July 11th, 2012
10:55 am

They should have checked the mother into the official ward too.

Robert

July 11th, 2012
10:56 am

Directed there by her church? Damn good Christians, promoting abandoning a “child”, regardless of age. Why didnt they do the good “Christian” thing and help the mother?
Didn’t their Lord and Saviour promote charity, kindness, and all those other wonderful Socialist ideas that these people rejected?

JET

July 11th, 2012
10:57 am

Her day will come. Karma has a way of catching up with you. Hope she can handle retribution.

Not even wrong

July 11th, 2012
10:58 am

So can I dump my wife off in Tenn too?

UMrules

July 11th, 2012
10:58 am

This woman downloads defective children and dumps one of them on the state of Tennessee? Well…she must be a godly genius…I’m moving to Tennessee tomorrow.

I too want to be taken care of!

ExNuYawker

July 11th, 2012
11:00 am

She can come live with our family anytime.

catlady

July 11th, 2012
11:00 am

Where is the daddy?!

Confused

July 11th, 2012
11:00 am

All of you double-digit IQ, government dependent dimwits are raging over a person with a profoundly deficient cognitive capacity yet you elected the same in 2008 to live in the Whitehouse?

Allison Wonderland

July 11th, 2012
11:02 am

@Confused LOSER!!!! OBAMA 2012!!!!

JET

July 11th, 2012
11:03 am

You are indeed confused.

catlady

July 11th, 2012
11:03 am

And she dumped her off at a BAR? Yeah, real humane. So some lowlife can “pick her up?”

Parents of severely disabled children have a very tough time. If the daughter is no longer in school (could have stayed in till the end of the year she turns 21), why not?

It says a lot that the mama is willing to give up the check ($700+?)

Confused

July 11th, 2012
11:04 am

Sorry, meant to say “yet you elected the same in 2000 to live in the Whitehouse?”

JET

July 11th, 2012
11:05 am

Talking about dimwits confused we had that man who read the book upside down on 9/11 for 8 years.

Just A Thought

July 11th, 2012
11:11 am

Laura, the article stated “could not even identify her mother”. This didn’t imply she could not recognize her mother. Small point but some toddlers may be unable to verbalize names but recognize and understand their relationship to others who care for them. My grandchildren certainly recognize when we leave them and do not hide the fact they missed us when we return either though they can’t necessarily verbalize it. I think you haven’t spent much time around young children.

Thatguy

July 11th, 2012
11:11 am

“She also said her church directed her there because it is a more Baptist area.”

Because keeping her Baptist was more important than convincing the mom not to abandon her child (-ish)? Some people…

BOB

July 11th, 2012
11:12 am

I guess if you are liberal and believe in the nanny state you are ok with what the mother did