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Woman arrested after children found alone in apartment without food, electricity

A Barnesville woman is being held in the Lamar County jail after she allegedly left two juvenile children unattended in her apartment without food. Tamara Princess White, 32, is charged with first degree cruelty to children (deprivation of sustenance). She remains in jail on a $10,000 bond. Maggie Moreland of the BPD responded to Apt. 4D Third Street after Julie Hawkins of the school system central office found the children. According to Moreland’s report, Hawkins arrived at the apartment just after 4 p.m. March 14 to check on the juveniles due to school attendance issues. She was about to leave when she heard a noise coming from inside and went back to knock again. One of the children opened the door and reported their mother was not at home. Hawkins summoned police and was sitting on the porch with the children when Moreland arrived. Moreland discovered there was no food in the apartment which had no electricity. A check with city hall confirmed the power had been shut off for nonpayment on Dec. 20, 2018. The children reported they had not had anything to eat all day so Cpl. Maria Gebelein went to a local fast food establishment and returned with food. Teresa Allen and Marquita Josey of DFCS got involved and photographed the shabby interior of the apartment. They also confirmed there was no food in the pantry or warm refrigerator. Josey reached Wright by phone and she claimed to be 40 minutes away. Sgt. Belinda Penamon, the BPD juvenile inspector, was summoned to the scene as well. A neighbor, Victory Harris, was questioned. She reported seeing Wright and another daughter leave about 7 a.m. but had not seen them since. Wright had asked Harris to put her kids on the school bus but she replied she did not have time. Harris assumed Wright had taken the juveniles with her until Hawkins arrived at the apartment. The two children were taken into protective custody and removed from the apartment by Allen and Josey.

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