Living in a small town has its perks, one of which is the way that citizens come together during a time of need. Fannin and Polk counties did just that for Jennifer Palmer, mother of two year old Saharah Weatherspoon, that died while in foster care.After a long two days at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Jennifer Palmer returned home to do the task that no mother wants to do…plan their child’s funeral.
With her children in custody of the State of Georgia, Palmer was anticipating the return of her three children considering her court date was just around the corner. She assumed that they were out of harm’s way until her caseworker, Amanda Murphy, and a police officer came to her door early on the morning of December 30, 2013. After being told that her two year old daughter, Saharah, had suffered critical injuries and was in the intensive care unit at Erlanger, Palmer and her sister headed to the hospital to find their daughter and niece on life support with significant brain damage.
After facing the toughest decision of her life, Palmer took her daughter off of the life support under the advisement of doctors that Saharah was completely brain dead.
The Catoosa County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy. The results have not been released but FYN has requested a copy of that report as soon as it is available.
After Saharah arrived at the Akins Funeral Home in Copperhill, TN, Palmer and her family needed emotional support the most. They were surprised to see the amount of support and those who came to offer their condolences. Prominent community figures such as District Attorney Alison Sosebee, Palmer’s counselor Nancy Chancey, the Victim’s Advocate with the District Attorney’s Office Bobby Arp and many employees that provided care for the children while they were enrolled at Milestones Learning Center made their appearance.
FYN has attempted to make contact with many officials regarding the possible criminal investigation for the foster parents, Ronald and Clara Edwards of Ringold, GA but have not received any response. We will continue to update you on any developments. Please view the slideshow below as we offer a tribute to sweet Saharah to honor her life.