Woman Arrested For Allegedly Neglecting Her Autistic Child

A Pulaski County Deputy went above and beyond the call of duty concerning the well-being of an eight-year-old autistic boy who had wandered from home after midnight.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a driver early Thursday morning who said a boy was walking in between county roads 300 and 400 South on U.S. 421. The officer saw the boy and introduced himself, and the boy told the officer his name and that he was autistic. The boy then continued walking north on U.S. 421. The officer walked beside the boy and attempted to speak to the boy who didn’t reply. In the meantime, dispatch was attempting to get a hold of the child’s mother but wasn’t having any success. A relative was contacted and picked up the child, who was now with the officer north of the West Central schools.

After picking up the boy, the officer went to speak with the boy’s mother, Debra Clemons of Francesville. Clemons was reportedly intoxicated. The officer attempted to gather information about the boy’s absence from the home, but was unsuccessful because Clemons was clearly unable to answer any questions. She did say that she was out looking for her son when the sheriff’s department called to ask about the situation. She didn’t know how he had gotten out of the house.

Clemons, 47, was arrested on a preliminary charge of Neglect of a Dependent. This case has been forwarded to the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office for further review.