Watch LIVE

Illinois Mom Won't Face Charges After Abandoning Disabled Daughter at a Bar

US

"Does not rise to the level of criminal codes here."

Lynn Cameron's mother will not face criminal charges after abandoning her at a bar last month. (Image source: Knoxville News Herald)

Lynn Cameron Knoxville News Sentinel

An Illinois woman won't face criminal charges after abandoning her 19-year-old severely disabled daughter at a Tennessee bar last month, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Eva Cameron of Algonquin, Ill. told Caryville, Tenn. police Tuesday she left her daughter Lynn at the Big Orange Bar and drove away because she "just couldn't handle her anymore," Assistant Police Chief Stephanie Smith told the News Sentinel.

"She let her out to use the bathroom and drove away," Smith said.

Still, while Tennessee prosecutors said Eva Cameron's actions were morally wrong, she did not break any laws.

“There has been nothing presented to our office to show she has been physically harmed or suffered any immediate or irreparable harm,” Assistant District Attorney Scarlett Ellis told the McHenry County, Ill. Northwest Herald of the disabled teen. “While it morally is not right – it’s something that goes straight to the heart – it does not rise to the level of criminal codes here.”

According to the Herald, police were called to the bar the night of June 28 because a mentally disabled woman had walked in. Lynn Cameron has multiple disabilities, including visual impairment and cerebral palsy.

“When we found her, she had been at the bar for around 20 minutes and was fine physically,” Smith said.

Because of her disability, Cameron -- whom Smith described as having a "30- to 40-word vocabulary" -- was unable to tell police her name or address and showed no signs of distress that her mother was gone.

Police on Sunday got an anonymous tip about who she was, and her mother voluntarily returned to Caryville Tuesday give police a statement. She will not take her daughter back.

"My daughter Lynn is a ward of the state of Tennessee,” Eva Cameron told the Herald. “They thought she was a child. She is an adult and I do not have any guardianship."

Eva Cameron -- who called the incident “just a big hoopla out of nothing" -- said she and her daughter had been at a Waffle House when Lynn refused to use the bathroom there. She said she then took her to the Big Orange Bar, thinking it was a restaurant.

She said she was waiting in the parking lot when police arrived, then drove away. She said she has another disabled child at home and could not handle caring for two.

"The way the laws are set up, they don’t have enough for families with multiple disabled children,” she said. “You can only stretch yourself like a gummy bear so far until you rip.”

According to the Herald, Lynn Cameron is now in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Human Services and will be moved to a center for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Most recent
All Articles