A nurse found the abandoned, non-verbal boy "cold and hungry," wandering around outside Grady Memorial Hospital

By Chris Harris
December 12, 2019 02:11 PM
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Diana Elliott an Atlanta woman who abandoned her special needs child
Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Police in Atlanta have arrested a 37-year-old woman they allege left her teenage son with special needs alone inside an area hospital — later telling investigators she could no longer take care of the boy.

According to reports, Diana Elliott allegedly abandoned her 14-year-old son inside Grady Memorial Hospital on Dec. 4.

The boy was reportedly found by a nurse wandering around outside the hospital, “cold and hungry.”

A picture of the non-verbal teen, who was unable to identify himself in any way, was circulated on local TV stations, reports WSB-TV, prompting tips from the public.

Surveillance footage also helped to identify Elliott.

Police managed to track down Elliott, who allegedly told police she was feeling overwhelmed caring for the teen, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

WGCL reports she was charged Wednesday with one count of first-degree cruelty to children.

Police say Elliott was living in a hotel with three other children. That hotel is located in an adjacent county.

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The teenager is now in the custody of the Georgia Division of Family and Child Services, as are the other three children.

PEOPLE was unable to determine if Elliott had entered a plea to the charge against her, or if she was represented by an attorney who could speak on her behalf.