CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There have been concerns for years about how a Camillus woman cared for her 11-year-old boy, a restaurant server familiar with the family tells NewsChannel 9.

When 44-year-old Susan Orendorf was arrested Tuesday, Lauren Thornton knew her name instantly.

Thorton works at the Tully’s location on Genesee Street in Fairmount and knows the mom as a regular customer, who brought her kids in multiple times per week.

“The boy was mistreated compared to the other siblings,” Thornton recalls. “There was the biological siblings and the foster siblings. You could just tell there was no connection with the boy at all. And it was sad. You could see it in his eyes.”

Thornton claims the boy wasn’t allowed to order food, a chilling recollection considering Orendorf is accused of malnourishing him.

Employees of the restaurant claim to have called child protective services over the years, concerns they felt didn’t go anywhere.

The server doesn’t remember seeing the family over the summer, which is when investigators feel the situation escalated.

When the boy returned for the first day of school, a school resource officer assigned to the West Genesee School District noticed differences in his behavior and health.

Two weeks later, his mom was arrested. Orendorf was arraigned on multiple charges:

  • Strangulation
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Forcible touching
  • Endangering the welfare of a child

The boy and a six-year-old girl are no longer in the suspect’s custody. She’s out of jail, having posted bail on Tuesday, and is scheduled to return to court Friday.

Orendorf’s attorney tells NewsChannel 9 “no comment” on behalf of his client.

A spokesperson for Onondaga County, which manages child protective services, says he’s not allowed to comment on an opening criminal investigation.