Women charged in neglect case
D.A.: Mom, grandma who failed to feed infant were using drugs
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.