Baby girl found dead in LaGrange motel, parents charged with deprivation of minor

Local News
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A 3-month-old baby girl is dead and her parents both face charges after police report finding the child and her two siblings in “deplorable” conditions inside a LaGrange motel.

Sgt. Robert Kirby tells News 3’s Mikhaela Singleton officers were called to the Town and Country Motel on New Franklin Road back on January 3 around 8:30 p.m. Kirby says the initial 911 call was for what sounded like a fight inside one of the rooms.

“The ruckus that was being heard, was that they were digging around trying to find their cell phones,” says Sgt. Kirby. “They couldn’t find their cell phones to call 911, so they were throwing things around trying to find the cell phone.”

Kirby says parents 27-year-old Jonathan Pruitt and 25-year-old Kaleigh Pruitt were rushing to call an ambulance after they noticed their youngest daughter wasn’t breathing. However, when officers made it inside the motel room, they were met with a whole new problem.

“There was a lot of clutter and filth I would say, and I think they’d been there for about a week maybe. But there was a lot of clutter and filth in that room for one week, I would think,” Sgt. Kirby says. “Again, just conditions were not suitable for children in the room.”

Citing the “deplorable living conditions” both parents were taken into custody and charged with three counts of deprivation of a minor — one for each of their young children. The 3-month-old girl was pronounced deceased and her body was sent to the GBI for an autopsy.

Sgt. Kirby says there were no signs of abuse on any of the children, but there were signs of neglect. However, without a confirmed cause of death, police can’t charge the Pruitts with their daughter’s death.

“The death and the deplorable conditions may or may not be related,” he explains. “We don’t know that yet, that’s why we’re counting on the autopsy.”

He adds the remaining two children were removed into protective custody.

“It’s always sad for the police department or for DFACS to have to take children away from their parents, but sometimes that’s the best answer to ensure the children are kept safe,” Sgt. Kirby says.

Jonathan Pruitt remains in the Troup County Jail while Kaleigh Pruitt has bonded out.

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