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DA: Mom who abandoned special needs teen broke no laws in TN

12:46 PM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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The mother of an abandoned woman with mental challenges returned to Tennessee, then left again, according to Caryville police.

Eva Cameron returned to Caryville around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators said she stayed about 10 minutes and said she was not interested in taking her 19-year-old daughter, Lynn, back to Illinois with her. She then left.

There are no charges pending against Eva Cameron in Tennessee. The district attorney general said that Cameron did not break any laws in the state because her daughter is legally an adult, although she has the mental capacity of a 2 year old.

Caryville Police are checking with authorities in Illinois to see if Eva Cameron's actions violated any laws there.

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The Caryville Police Department has identified a young, mentally disabled woman who was a left in a bar by herself.

Lynn Cameron, 19, could not give her name when the Caryville Police Department first found her at the Big Orange Bar in Caryville in late June Caryville Police Department Assistant Chief Stephanie Smith said the department discovered the Cameron's identity after tracking down her mother.

According to Smith, they then found out she was from Algonquin, Illinois, a suburb outside of Chicago. Smith said the mother told the police department she had been planning to find a residential facility in the area for Cameron to live in.

But Smith told 10News, the department believes the mother may have not been able to care for Cameron.

Campbell County residents like Jessie Ramirez said they were saddened by the incident.

"I was praying that somebody would find her," he said.

The Caryville Police Department told 10News it is talking to the District Attorney General's Office to see whether they will present any charges against Cameron's mother. It said she has been receiving excellent care at an undisclosed facility.

Ben Harrington, the executive director of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee said Cameron has the same legal rights as any American citizen would have, despite her disability. He said because of that, she can live life as an independent adult like everyone else.

But, if Cameron's mother was her legal guardian, Harrington said she could be found at fault.

"If they have those responsibilities they could be charged because they've abandoned someone," he said.


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