Mother arrested for child abandonment

news-crime-arrest-stockHOUSTON – A woman who allegedly abandoned a child for the second time has been formally served and arrested by the Houston Police Department on one charge each of child abuse and child abandonment.

Cora Lynn Watkins, 25, was taken into custody at the Regional Three Mental Health building Thursday afternoon. She was booked into the Chickasaw County Jail and later released on $12,000 bond.

“There has been a lot of out of town publicity about this case and a lot of Facebook talk that is just not true,” said Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles. “She did leave the hospital in Tupelo last week and we did have to track her down to serve her with arrest warrants.

Voyles said reports of Watkins somehow escaping the hospital and running away from authorities in Chickasaw County are not true. Reports of Watkins being pregnant with twins are also unfounded.

“This really is a sad case and we hope it will settle down as it moves to court,” Voyles added. “Both the baby and the momma need help.”

The charges against Watkins stem from her alleged abandonment of a newborn baby in a shed on Pittsboro Street in March. Watkins was also the person who abandoned a baby at the Salvation Army on Washington Street in 2010.

Watkins was charged with child abuse in that case and received two years of probation and was court ordered to attend therapy.
Watkins allegedly delivered the second baby alone and went to work that day at a local restaurant. Children found the newborn after hearing the baby boy cry in the shed.
That baby was initially taken to Trace Regional Hospital and later to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. The boy was examined and released into the custody of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

“The first time it happened it shocked the community and then to have it happen again has shocked people again,” said Voyles. “We are still investigating this case and it now heads to court.”


Safe prom night


Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles said there were no reports of accidents or vandalism over prom weekend in Houston.

“I really am proud of our young people for the way they acted,” said Voyles. “We didn’t have any problem in the parking lot at the school and it appears everyone stayed inside and had a good time.”

Voyles said police were on alert for underage drinking and had reminded parents last week that curfew would be enforced.

“Prom night is always a big night for some of these kids,” said Voyles. “I was glad to see parents at the prom keeping an eye on things.”

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