Local News

Harnett County mother facing charges in starvation of her special needs children

Posted October 25, 2019 2:08 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2019 4:17 p.m. EDT

— A Harnett County woman was in custody Friday and is facing charges after she was accused of not feeding her three special needs children, leaving them severely malnourished, authorities said.

Savannah Lewis, 29, was being held under $500,000 bond at the Harnett County Jail, where she was charged with two counts of felony child abuse and two counts of negligent child abuse inflicting serious injury, the sheriff's office said.

Two of the woman's children, ages 13 and 15, were so malnourished that they had to be hospitalized at UNC​ Hospitals in Chapel Hill, according to authorities. Another child, who is 10 years old, was not hospitalized.

Lewis was arrested and charged on Oct. 10 after law enforcement authorities received an anonymous call seven days earlier about about possible drug activity at the family's home on Heritage Way.

The sheriff's office said when deputies arrived, they found the malnourished children living in deplorable conditions.

Sources told WRAL News that the 15-year-old weighed 48 pounds and his 13-year-old sister weighed less than that.

Sheriff Wayne Coats says this is the worst case of child abuse he’s seen during his time in law enforcement, adding that the pictures of the children were horrific.

"It's heartbreaking that anybody would live like this," he said. "And you can tell that they were in need of help."

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