Grand jury examining abandoned teen case
ALGONQUIN – A severely disabled Algonquin girl who had been left at a bar is back in Illinois as Tennessee officials prepare to bring her mother before a grand jury.
On June 28, Eva Cameron, 45, left her 19-year-old daughter at the Big Orange Bar in Caryville, Tenn, about an hour northwest of Knoxville. Lynn Cameron had no identification and it took authorities 10 days to identify her.
Last week, a court order transferred Lynn Cameron out of Tennessee and into the custody of the State of Illinois.
Tennessee officials first said that because Lynn Cameron had not been physically harmed, nor suffered any immediate or irreparable harm, her mother's actions did not break the law.
However, they are now looking into elder abuse law, which also includes neglect and exploitation of an impaired adults, Tennessee Assistant District Attorney Scarlett Ellis said.
"Our grand jury is set to meet Aug. 10 and we do plan to present the case to our grand jury that day," Ellis said.
Locally, Algonquin police continue to investigate Cameron as well.
"We have not closed our case," Chief Russell Laine said. "We're still following up on some things and at this time it's still an open investigation."
What charges would be issued, if any, is still to be determined.
"We're trying to see where the evidence takes us and whether, based upon the evidence that we obtain, there was a violation of law," he said. "It's something we're doing very slowly and methodically. We're just being very cautious and making sure we look at everything."
Eva Cameron did not respond to a request for comment.
Since late last week, Lynn Cameron has been in a state-funded residential home for people with developmental disabilities, said Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman Januari Smith Trader. She will remain there indefinitely.
Smith Trader said that there is a waiting list with about 22,000 people seeking state assistance, but that list is not exclusively for people needing place to live. It includes other types of public assistance needs.
"Miss Cameron, essentially, she was homeless," Smith Trader said. "That becomes a crisis situation, which made her immediately able to receive treatment."
Missy Marshall of Tennessee's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities said that the two states worked together.
"To us, it's a positive outcome because she's able to receive services in her home state, where she had extended family and friends," she said.
In a previous interview with the Northwest Herald, Eva Cameron said that she wanted her daughter to become a ward of the state because she had reached the end of her rope and could no longer care for her. She said she chose Tennessee because of its strong health care system.
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