Women charged in ne­glect case

D.A.: Mom, grandma who failed to feed in­fant were us­ing drugs

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ian Den­nis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

BOY­ER­TOWN » Po­lice have ar­rested a mother and grand­mother after de­tec­tives al­lege they ne­glected to feed an in­fant in their care.

Pearl L. Grater, 26, of North Read­ing Av­enue, Boy­er­town, and Gertrude M. Grater, 65, of the same ad­dress, have been charged by the Berks County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fice fol­low­ing an investigation that was ini­ti­ated in July, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the D.A.’s of­fice.

On July 28, Berks County De­tec­tives opened an investigation after re­ceiv­ing a re­port from Berks County Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices about an in­fant suf­fer­ing from fail­ure to thrive as a re­sult of nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies, po­lice said.

Po­lice found that on July 25, a 1-month-old male in­fant was brought to a pe­di­a­tri­cian’s of­fice in Gil­bertsville where he was ex­am­ined by med­i­cal per­son­nel. After an ex­am­i­na­tion, the child was trans­ported to Le­high Val­ley Hospi­tal near Al­len­town by am­bu­lance. He was ad­mit­ted for nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies.

On July 26, Child­Line re­ceived two re­ports of sus­pected child abuse and ne­glect. The re­port listed that the in­fant vic­tim was suf­fer­ing from “fail­ure to thrive” with poor weight gain, growth and lack of nu­tri­tional needs, author­i­ties said.

Fur­ther investigation re­vealed that Pearl L. Grater, the mother of the in­fant, and Gertrude M. Grater, the grand­mother of the in­fant, were us­ing metham­phetamines for days dur­ing the time pe­riod they were the pri­mary care­tak­ers of the child, ac­cord­ing to the Berks D.A.’s of­fice.

Both the mother and grand­mother ne­glected to feed the in­fant be­cause they were un­der the in­flu­ence of metham­phetamines, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. Ad­di­tion­ally, author­i­ties claim the pair would in­ten­tion­ally used tod­dler for­mula in place of the more ex­pen­sive in­fant for­mula.

On July 28, the in­fant child was taken into pro­tec­tive cus­tody at Le­high Val­ley Hospi­tal by Berks County Chil­dren and Youth Ser­vices and placed into fos­ter care upon his dis­charge.

When the boy was dis­charged, the hospi­tal re­ported he was thriv­ing while at the hospi­tal and had gained weight since ad­mis­sion.

De­tec­tives ob­tained ar­rest war­rants for Pearl Lynn Grater and Gertrude Mary Grater from District Judge Michael G. Hart­man on charges of en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of a child and ag­gra­vated as­sault. De­tec­tives ap­pre­hended the de­fen­dants Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Sept. 27, at 119 N. Read­ing Ave., Boy­er­town. They were trans­ported to the Berks County Sher­iff’s Pro­cess­ing Cen­ter for pro­cess­ing and video pre­lim­i­nary ar­raign­ment.

A bail amount was not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

Pearl Grater

Gertrude Grater

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