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Authorities arrest mom for medical neglect of 555-pound teen

South Carolina authorities have located a 555-pound teenager and his mother, who faces a charge of violating a custody order, police said Thursday.

Alexander Deundray Draper, 14, of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, and his mother, Jerri Althea Gray, were located at about 4:30 p.m. near a laundromat in Baltimore, Maryland, by the Baltimore County Sheriff's Office, said Matt Armstrong, a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in Greenville, South Carolina.

"Draper was checked out by EMS [Emergency Medical Services] personnel and turned over to the Maryland Department of Social Services," Armstrong said.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services will work with its Maryland counterpart to have the boy returned to South Carolina, he told CNN affiliate WYFF.

The mother is being held in a detention center and will be extradited to South Carolina on an outstanding warrant, he said.

"The understanding was that the individual was of the weight where it was decided by medical authorities that he needed treatment that was not being provided for by his mother," Armstrong said.

Earlier in the day officials said the boy "is possibly at a stage of critical health risk."

Gray was supposed to appear in family court Tuesday with her son and failed to do so, the sheriff's office said. During the family court hearing, the boy was ordered into state custody because of medical neglect, as well as his mother's failure to appear. The Department of Social Services then contacted the sheriff's office, authorities said.

The warrant said Gray was served with papers Monday and told to report to court for a hearing in which the department would seek state custody of Draper. "The defendant has avoided the custody proceeding and has concealed the child," the warrant says.

Travelers Rest is about 10 miles north of Greenville, South Carolina.

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Posted in: News by SoulRiser on December 14, 2009 @ 10:57 PM

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