SC fugitive mom found with care-threatened 555-pound son

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COLUMBIA — A 555-pound South Carolina teen who disappeared with his mother after she was accused of neglecting his health was found with her this afternoon at a laundry in Maryland, authorities said.

Paramedics checked Alexander Draper, 14, before turning him over to the Maryland Department of Human Resources, police said. The two were found in Woodlawn area of Baltimore County, police said.

His mother, 49-year-old Jerri Gray, was arrested on a charge of violating a custody order, police said. South Carolina officials plan to pursue her extradition back to the state.

Authorities said the teen was at a "stage of critical health risk," but wouldn't provide details about his medical condition beyond his weight, said Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. Shea Smith.

Officials are making arrangements to bring the boy back to South Carolina, Smith said.

Investigators didn't know if Gray had an attorney and her relatives have not responded to messages left by The Associated Press.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services contacted deputies Tuesday after Gray failed to make a scheduled court appearance so officials could begin investigating claims of child neglect and endangerment.

The agency doesn't get involved in such cases based on a child's weight alone, but will take action in "cases where health care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm because a parent is neglecting to provide necessary medical care," DSS spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus said in a statement.

A judge ordered the teen taken into protective custody.

Gray and Draper had been last seen Monday at their home in Travelers Rest, a city about 10 miles north of Greenville.

Investigators said they are trying to determine why they were in Maryland.

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Grasshopper
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Grasshopper 05/21/09 - 09:54 pm
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Well she wasn't starving him

Well she wasn't starving him to death, what it the problem?

noway
201
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noway 05/21/09 - 10:36 pm
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Sounds like the opposite of

Sounds like the opposite of starving him...and, were they actually having trouble finding him? :-) Sorry, couldn't resist.

hana57
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hana57 05/21/09 - 10:43 pm
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That's mean. How did he get

That's mean. How did he get so large at such a young age? That is child abuse.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 05/21/09 - 11:11 pm
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Are schools to call dfax when

Are schools to call dfax when a child is obese. Me and my kids are genetically tall and thin. I do have fat genes in my family. What about that side of the family they are all fat. I can eat more then they can, and I don't gain weight. Did you ever notice that People who win eating contest are small people? Some of it does have to do with how much you chew your food. Slow eaters tend to be fat. Proven fact!

Grasshopper
7
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Grasshopper 05/21/09 - 11:16 pm
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Teach fat people to gulp

Teach fat people to gulp their food!

BeckyTiger
0
Points
BeckyTiger 05/22/09 - 12:56 am
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I agree with hana57.

I agree with hana57. Elephants barely weigh that much, and this is a 14 year old kid?!? That is absolutely child abuse, though that kid knew he was eating. When your weight is equal to 10 of your classmates...time to get a clue buddy. Thank goodness that DFACS was called, or in a few years we would be seeing a wall in that kid's house torn down and a flatbed trailer to haul his enormous girth out. That makes me physically ill. Stop blaming everybody else for being fat and eat healthier and get off the couch!!!!!

shel2u
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shel2u 05/22/09 - 04:35 am
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I think this should have been

I think this should have been called an abuse case long before this child reached 555lbs. It took a while to get up to that size. Such a shame.

TroubIe
0
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TroubIe 05/22/09 - 06:50 am
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becky, if you know of 10 55lb

becky, if you know of 10 55lb 14 yo's, you need to call defax and report them, they are waaaay underfed, i have a 14 yo who weighs about 100 lbs, and she is not fat

dhd1108
1
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dhd1108 05/22/09 - 06:59 am
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om nom nom nom nom nom

om nom nom nom nom nom

waugusta92
0
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waugusta92 05/22/09 - 11:50 am
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it's "DFCS", you fools.

it's "DFCS", you fools.

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