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Mother arrested after child knocks on neighbor's door begging for food

Posted July 23

— A Georgia mother has been arrested after police say she left her daughter home alone, hungry and in deplorable conditions.

Officers with the Marietta Police Department said Deborah Oats left her 11-year-old at home in their apartment while she went out.

The child then knocked on the door of James Fisher, Oats' neighbor.

"She wanted help, she wanted us to do something about it," said Fisher.

Officials said Fisher and his wife gave the girl some food. She fell asleep on their couch, and, when she woke up at 2 a.m., her mom still wasn't home.

According to Fisher, the child told him, "They're probably out clubbing, like it happens a lot."

Fisher called the police while his wife went into Oats' apartment.

Officials said the apartment had no air conditioning, and Fisher's wife found cockroaches, animals in poor condition and feces everywhere.

"It was a wreck," said Fisher. "If you've seen 'Hoarders,' it was almost like that. No AC in the middle of the Georgia summer means the living conditions were horrible for all parities involved."

When police tracked Oats down, she was in an area officials know to be a popular site for drugs. Oats was arrested and faces a $10,000 bond.

Her daughter is in custody of the state.


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  • NC Tom Jul 24, 8:37 a.m.
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    What about the pets?

  • Skye Thompson Jul 24, 5:22 a.m.
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    You clearly do not understand what "it takes a village to raise a child" means and you ignorantly assume it's a liberal thing and bash people.
    Many people, liberals AND conservatives included, believe that a child benefits from being raised around not just their parents, but their aunts/uncles, grandparents, and family friends. People believe it takes a village to raise a child because all parents need help sometimes - whether its advice on dealing with pottytraining or a teen issue, someone to help out in the home (bringing by meals, straightening up, keeping an eye on the kids) if the parents are sick. When it takes a village to raise a child, the child is exposed to people who have lived many different life experiences in different times. My grandmother taught me to embroider which gave me one of many hobbies to keep me out of trouble. My dad nor my mother knew how to do this, so I benefited from her knowledge...from the village around me.

  • Patrick Gentry Jul 24, 2:34 a.m.
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    Someone's not getting morher of the year

  • Cnc Stone Jul 23, 8:50 p.m.
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    The blame falls on the parents ! Not just mom is my point ! Dad has a part in bad parenting blame game that liberals play !

  • Tonya Willett Jul 23, 6:01 p.m.
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    What in the hell does this have to do with liberals or conservatives? This woman is a poor excuse of a mother. Period. Attempting to blame liberals is just stupidity.

  • Marcia Maloney Jul 23, 4:00 p.m.
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    Irresponsible mother

  • Eric Rothman Jul 23, 2:16 p.m.
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    10,000 in bail? How bout the chair!!!!

  • Cnc Stone Jul 23, 12:57 p.m.
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    Liberals and there " it takes a village to raise a child " mentality ? Others are not responsible for the care and upbringing of your children and pawning them off on society is clearly not working ?
    It takes two loving caring parents to do that job ( not just mom )

  • Josha Barton Jul 23, 12:29 p.m.
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    How resilient of this child to have the courage to smack neglect, cycles of poverty, pride, and various forms of abuse right in the face. I pray someone rescues her from a world she is polarized in but her spirit is free.

  • Rhonda Arthur Jul 23, 10:57 a.m.
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    Sadly so many children live with parents like this. We are currently raising our two granddaughters to keep them from this kind of life.