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Ga. Mom Allegedly Made Healthy 5-Year-Old Use Feeding Tube, Wheelchair to Collect State Checks

Authorities allege a Georgia mother subjected her 5-year-old son to unnecessary medical procedures and had him taking medications he didn’t need in order to collect benefits from the state.

Records obtained by PEOPLE confirm Teresa Lynne Roth, 34, was arrested and charged with first-degree child cruelty Thursday following a months-long investigation that began last October.

In October, the unnamed boy was removed from his parents’ care, according to local media reports.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Scott Ware alleged to WSB-TV that the mom fabricated the boy’s conditions in order to receive a monthly disability check from the state.

“They were receiving disability, but now that the child’s not in their custody, they’re not,” Ware said.

The boy was confined to a wheelchair unnecessarily and he had a feeding tube inserted into his stomach, Ware alleged to the station. Investigators further allege he was put on a number of different medications he didn’t require and was strapped to an oxygen tank.

“Between January 2016 and October 2018, Mrs. Roth did cause her son unnecessary physical and mental pain by subjecting him to undergo unnecessary medical treatments and medications, jeopardizing his well-being,” Ware alleged.

Ware said the boy is doing well now.

Investigators are still exploring the possibility Roth may have suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a form of abuse in which a caregiver fabricates an illness or injury to someone in their care to elicit sympathy for themselves.

Roth remains in custody on a $16,700 bond, online jail records confirm.

Information on her lawyer was unavailable and PEOPLE could not determine if she has entered a plea.

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