THOMASVILLE — A Thomasville police officer said the condition of a child in a cruelty case is the worst he has witnessed in 21 years in law enforcement.
A little boy, just under 2 years of age, arrived at the Archbold Memorial Hospital emergency room weighing what a 3-month-old should weigh, said Lt. Toby Knifer, Thomasville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division commander.
Police were notified by the Thomas County Division of Family and Children Services about a child who appeared to be neglected.
"The child appeared severely malnourished," said Knifer, adding that the boy weighed less than 20 pounds.
The boy was transported to the neonatal intensive care unit at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
"It was a constant battle to get the child in stable condition," Knifer said.
The boy might not have lived had his condition not been discovered Jan. 30, the commander said.
The child's mother, Victoria Vann, 26m 915 N. Crawford St., was arrested the next day. She is charged with cruelty to children in the first degree.
The boy is in stable condition and gaining weight at the Tallahassee hospital.
"It appears he is going to pull through and be healthy when treatment is complete," Knifer said. "He was so dehydrated he was at the point of kidney failure."
The mother told authorities she took the boy to the hospital because he had been vomiting for eight days.
"If she had waited another day, the little boy might not be with us," Knifer said.
Other children lived in the home.
Vann remains in the Thomas County Jail. She was granted a $5,175 bond, but is being held for failure to appear in an unrelated case.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820