A 7-year-old autistic child, who was reported missing for several hours Tuesday morning, was found with “multiple injuries,” and his mother and a man have been charged.
Jonathon Everette Hardin, 31, and Tarissa Anne Johnson, 34, were charged with one count each of first-degree cruelty to children. Johnson is the child’s mother. Both were being held without bond at the Hall County Jail Wednesday afternoon.
Warrants allege Hardin and Johnson “repeatedly” hit the child, “causing black eyes, swelling, contusions, lacerations and abrasions requiring medical attention.” The incidents allegedly occurred between May 1 and May 30.
The incident was reported just after midnight Tuesday morning as Hall County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators were searching for the child that had been reported missing in the 4200 block of Riviere Point, according to a statement released by Lt. Scott Ware, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Ware confirmed the case involved the same child for whom an alert went out in the early hours of Tuesday morning. That alert from the Hall County Citizen Alert System stated the child had autism.
The child was found several hours later, on the back porch of a neighbor’s house, according to Ware’s statement.
Investigators notified the Division of Family and Children Services and the case remains under investigation.