Ringgold woman arrested for child abuse of adopted son

Date: 2014-12-03

By Adam Cook

A Ringgold woman was arrested for alleged child abuse two days before Thanksgiving, following an investigation of claims that she physically and emotionally abused her 11-year-old adopted son.

According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:

Christine Evelyn Baughman, 43, was arrested Tuesday, Nov. 25, for first-degree cruelty to children. She was released from jail the following day, Nov. 26, on a $5,000 bond.

The investigation into Baughman’s treatment of the child began with a welfare check of the boy at the family’s home on Nov. 22, after a complaint had been submitted to the Department of Family and Children Services.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was also notified of the complaint, as was child crimes detective Tim Deal with the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s a joint investigation,” sheriff Gary Sisk said Wednesday, Dec. 3. “Interviews were conducted in the case, and the charge was then brought about.”

Detective Deal and special agent April Wells of the GBI followed up with the child and set up an interview at the Lookout Mountain Children’s Advocacy Center on Nov. 25, reports show.

During the interview, the boy disclosed physical abuse and neglect, and detectives were given photographs of the boy’s injuries taken during the welfare check on Nov. 22.

Those photographs and the information obtained during the child’s interview were then sent to assistant district attorney Alan Norton, who advised detective Deal and agent Wells to arrest Baughman.

The incident report states that the alleged injuries came from the use of a belt by Baughman.

A source close to the investigation stated the family adopted the boy and his brother from the Ukraine during the summer of 2013 and the adoption was finalized last November.

Sheriff Sisk wouldn’t go into details on the matter, but he did confirm the two children were adopted by the Baughmans from overseas.

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