ALGONQUIN – A Tennessee grand jury declined to indict an Algonquin mother who abandoned her severely disabled daughter at a bar, and it’s unlikely she will face local charges.
On June 28, Eva Cameron left her 19-year-old daughter at the Big Orange Bar in Caryville, Tenn., about an hour northwest of Knoxville.
Her daughter had no identification and because of her inability to communicate, it took authorities 10 days to identify her.
The grand jury had been reviewing information in the case since September and met again Friday, the District Attorney’s Office in Campbell County, Tenn., said in a news release.
“There is no disagreement that the actions of the mother, Eva Cameron, in this case were inexcusable,” officials said in the release. “However, Tennessee law has not anticipated such behavior and thus the Grand Jury was faced with conduct which was not necessarily indictable. The Grand Jury made a very thorough investigation, looking at all the factors and the appropriateness of any criminal charges, and did not return a true bill against Ms. Cameron.”
No charges have been filed against Eva Cameron, 45, in Illinois because of “insufficient information,” Algonquin Police Chief Russell Laine said.
“As far as I know, there’s not going to be any prosecution at this time,” Laine said. “We had talked to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, and with the information we were able to provide, we could not find a statute that was appropriate to make charges under.”
If additional information becomes available, the department will review the case again, Laine said. “It’s an extremely unusual case. I’ve been in law enforcement for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The District Attorney’s Office in Tennessee plans to work closely with state representatives to change the law there, and Laine said that needs to be done in Illinois, as well.
“It really is a horrible set of circumstances, and I think a review of the laws has to be made so this doesn’t happen again,” Laine said.
Cameron did not respond a request for comment. Previously, she told the Northwest Herald that she had reached the end of her rope and could no longer care for her daughter.
She said she couldn’t receive adequate help in Illinois and wanted her daughter to become a ward of the state of Tennessee because of its health care system.
A Tennessee judge, at the request of Illinois authorities, released the 19-year-old into Illinois custody, and she was placed in a state-funded residential home for people with developmental disabilities, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services.