Folks back in Illinois sent me this story about a woman from Algonquin, Ill., who drove down to Tennessee and abandoned her severely mentally handicapped adult daughter at a bar in Caryville, Tenn. This story is upsetting in so many ways. First off, the woman — I repeat — abandoned her severely mentally handicapped daughter at a bar two states away from where she lived.
You think fuckers who drop their pets off in the country are bad? This woman left her daughter in a whole other region of the country. The people of Caryville thought the girl might be the escaped victim of a serial killer. And, honestly, thank goodness good people found her or she might, indeed, have been someone's victim. Did her mom give no thought to the fact that she could have been raped or murdered? Or the fact that if anything bad did happen to her, she lacks the vocabulary to tell anyone about it?
I get that taking care of someone who is severely disabled might be more than a person can handle. There's no shame in admitting that it's too much for you to handle. But I can assure you that there are hospitals and group homes in Illinois. Dropping her off at a bar in another state is inexcusable.
But most upsetting is this part:
Smith, the Tennessee police official, said the mother will not be charged in that state because her daughter is 19 and therefore is an adult in the eyes of the law.
Smith said a hearing took place Tuesday to establish the daughter as a ward of the state in Tennessee. If that effort succeeds, the daughter will likely be placed in a group home or other facility for mentally handicapped adults.
Really? Tennessee has nothing to charge this woman with? We have no laws against endangering a dependent? No laws against abandoning a dependent? No laws against placing a person in circumstances where you have to know that a likely outcome is that she'll be injured or killed? We can't at least try to charge this woman with reckless endangerment?
If you can just dump your 19-year-old mentally handicapped kid at a bar in Tennessee and face no repercussions for fleeing back to Illinois, then there's something seriously wrong with our state.