Neighbors react after child found dead in Dermott home

Crime

DERMOTT, Ark. – Arkansas State Police are investigating after a 12-year-old child was found dead inside a Dermott home. The boy’s mother is now being charged with abuse of a corpse. 

39-year-old Betty Adams was arrested at her home off S. Melton in Dermott after police found the body of her son, Justin, in a bedroom.

Dermott Police were first alerted to the child Monday night around 5:00. It’s still not clear what led to Justin’s death or how long he had been dead when police arrived. 

The discovery left neighbors stunned, with many saying they knew Adams or saw her frequently walking the neighborhood. A few mentioned they never knew there was a child in the home to begin with. 

Donnie Ray Ford lives a few houses down from Adams. He said he’s still trying to figure out what led to Justin’s death. 

“I don’t know what happened, really,” Ford said, “I just hate that the baby passed.”

He adds that he’s lived by Adams for 15 years and they spoke on and off as neighbors. The death of a child, he said, has left him heartbroken. 

“Justin… I just hate that for him,” Ford said, “If anything was wrong or [he was] sick, she could have called someone.” 

Arkansas State Police are currently investigating Justin’s death. They’re currently waiting to hear back from the Arkansas State Crime Lab on a cause and time of death. 

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