A Clarksville woman has been arrested after police said she told authorities her 12-year-old son died as a result of a seizure when the boy was still alive.
A School Resource Officer in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System made contact with Vanessa Blanchard, 39, on Oct. 29, asking why her child hasn't been attending school.
Blanchard told officials that her autistic son, who attends New Providence Middle School, had died two days earlier, according to an arrest warrant.
Personnel at the school, on their own accord, attempted to connect resources and support for the family, according to CMCSS spokesperson Anthony Johnson.
School personnel contacted Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory to help pay for the child's funeral and were told then that there weren't any funeral arrangements for the child, according to the arrest warrant.
"To our knowledge, other than flowers, nothing was provided to the family before personnel were informed that the alleged deceased was alive," Johnson said.
The warrant said school officials again contacted Blanchard, who told them the child was at Tennova Healthcare awaiting an autopsy.
On Nov. 16, district officials received a notice that the boy's school district-issued laptop was active at the Vacation Motor Motel off Providence Boulevard. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to the motel and made contact with the child, who was not deceased, the warrant said.
Investigators learned that Blanchard had left the boy alone in the motel for two weeks and checked on him, "whenever she could, which was daily or every other day," the warrant states.
Blanchard was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with contributing to dependency, neglect and creating false impression of death. A court date has been set for Jan. 20.
Alexis Clark can be reached at email@example.com or 931-217-8519.
This article originally appeared on Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle: Clarksville woman fake child's death, autistic boy found in motel