TJ Caudill’s body was found hidden in his parents’ home after his mother confessed that he had been dead since August.
He had been dead since summer
Margarita White, and her boyfriend Douglas Hunt have been charged with murder connected with the death of 6-year-old TJ.
Photo from: Facebook.com/Margarita White
A warrant was issued for TJ’s mother after she had failed to enroll him in school. Eventually, she confessed that her son had been dead since summer, after he suffered from malnourishment and abuse from his mother’s boyfriend Douglas.
Authorities the found TJ’s body inside his home after his mother confessed that they hid him.
“He would light up a room”
According to reports, TJ had been diagnosed with autism, a condition which didn’t interfere with his relationship with the people close to him.
Thomas Shannon, a friend of TJ’s dad, said “He was always able to put a smile on your face.” He adds, “Anytime he was around, he would light up a room.”
Ronda Adkins, who had known TJ since he was 3, shares, “There are hardly words to express what’s in my heart.”
The entire community rallied together not only to mourn TJ’s loss, but to also raise funds through selling shirts and baked goods in order to pay for TJ’s funeral expenses.
His exact cause of death is sadly, still unknown.
Go to the next page to learn more about keeping your children safe from child abuse.
Know the signs of child abuse
What happened to TJ was an absolute tragedy that could possibly have been prevented if only proper precautions were taken, and if people close to the family knew what signs of child abuse to look out for.
Knowing the signs of child abuse early on can help save a child’s life. Here’s what you need to know:
- Delayed development. In some children, suffering from abuse causes them to have developmental problems in terms of their abilities and skills such as walking, talking, or socializing.
- Failure to thrive. Failure to thrive means that the child is not at the proper height or weight level that they should be at their specific age. This could also be related to malnutrition.
- Strange interaction with the parent. If the child is unusually fearful of their parent or if the child seems to be trying not to upset their parent, then it could also be a possible sign of abuse.
- Unexplained bruises or wounds. These might be a sign that the parent is hurting the child physically. Especially if the child has injuries in places that children don’t typically have.
- Self-harm. Self-harm can sometimes be a sign that a child is being abused as it’s used by kids as a way to deal with the emotional pain or stress that they’re suffering.
READ: 7-year-old unable to “wake up” her parents; police find them dead at home
Sources: dispatch.com, wsaz.com, webmd.com
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