A woman from Memphis, Tenn., 43-year-old Charresa Noel, claiming to be the legal guardian for a young boy, was arrested in an extreme case of child abuse and neglect after police discovered that she kept an eight-year-old boy locked up in a bedroom in her home where she beat and starved him, and kept him doped up on drugs so that he’d remain sleepy throughout the day. Police in Memphis were alerted to the abuse after two people witnessed Noel striking the boy in the head with the handle of a broom “after he tried to get food from a refrigerator after not being fed all day.”
WREG reported on May 21 that one of those two people told police that she would sneak food into the little boy’s room at night just to make sure he had something to eat. Court documents revealed a quote from the little boy who confirmed in an affidavit that “Noel locks him in a bedroom and, ‘he does not eat like suppose to, due to him being locked in a room.’”
The child also told police that Noel gave him medicine throughout the day that kept him sleepy. Investigators found the medicine bottle which indicated that the medication was only supposed to be taken at nighttime.
Police noted his eye was swollen, there was a cut under it and he had knots on the right and left side of his head.
Noel could not produce any documentation to police proving she had legal custody or guardianship over the child, according to WLOX. The young boy is now in the care of the Department of Children's Services. Neighbors are shocked that anyone could treat a child so badly. Neighbor Wanda Stewart said, "Pray for the family because they're going to need it." Another neighbor, Shawn Williams, who lives in the same complex where the alleged abuse took place described the situation as “heartbreaking.”
Police say that when they took custody of the little boy, that he had not been allowed to have anything to eat “for an extended period of time,” and that the child was hungry. Noel was taken to Shelby County Jail where her initial bond was set at $100, but then increased to $2,500.