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Saturday, Oct 20, 2018
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Tarpon Springs woman accused of neglecting child with cerebral palsy

A transient woman from Tarpon Springs was arrested Thursday and accused of neglecting an 8-year-old with cerebral palsy, leaving the child "severely malnourished," according to an arrest report.

Linda Kerns, 39, faces a charge of neglect of a child with great bodily harm.

A Tarpon Springs police officer wrote in the arrest report that the child was one of three taken from Kerns on Dec. 13. A child protective investigator had determined Kerns was neglecting care because of drug addiction, which left her living between a car and various hotels known for drug activity, according to the arrest report.

At one point, the officer wrote, her husband sold the car for narcotics.

The child was pale, with protruding bones and a dirty diaper, according to the report. Authorities took the 8-year-old to the emergency room.

Kerns is listed as "Linda Courter" in jail records and is being held on $50,000 bail.

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