Police: 4-year-old boy found alone, malnourished; mother facing charges

Mother charged after child found barricaded in room

PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - Police say a woman left her four-year-old boy barricaded in a bathroom while she went to a doctor’s appointment.

Takeyah Lanae Smith, 24, was charged with first-degree criminal abuse of a child 12 or under.

She was taken to the McCracken County Regional Jail.

According to police, they responded to the Noble Inn Lodge on September 5 to check the welfare of a child.

They say an employee told them while doing routine maintenance, he went into a room and found items blocking the entry to the bathroom. After moving the items, he said he opened the door and found a small child, alone, sitting on the toilet.

Officers say the boy had bruising on his body and appeared to be malnourished.

Police were on the scene for about 30 minutes when the mother, identified as Smith, returned.

According to police, Smith told them she had barricaded the child in the bathroom while she went to a doctor’s appointment. They said she told them she sometimes hit the child with her hand and a belt because he steals food from her room.

The child was taken to an area hospital for medical treatment.

While examining him, police said bruises and marks were noted on his body consistent with being hit by a belt. They said medical staff also determined he was dehydrated and malnourished.

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