Malnourished child spurs Blountville mom's arrest

Rain Smith • Mar 21, 2019 at 10:10 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Sullivan County woman has been indicted after authorities reportedly discovered her 8-year-old son weighed just 27 pounds.

According to police, the victim has since been placed in the care of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, and his health has improved.

Leah Kraus, 27, of Blountville, is charged with four counts of aggravated child neglect. A press release from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office states that Detective Michelle Gilliam began an investigation in November.

That’s when Kraus’ son was admitted to the hospital significantly underweight, according to police, and severely malnourished and dehydrated. Evidence against Kraus was recently presented to a grand jury, netting her indictments and Wednesday’s arrest.

As of Thursday morning, Kraus remained held on $50,000 bond. Investigators say that due to the victim’s juvenile status and other circumstances of the case, no additional details will be released at this time.

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