Two arrested on child neglect charges
Friday, October 25, 2013 1:17 PM
Deputies arrested two people who reportedly had a child living in a filthy home with no power.
Greenwood County Sheriff's Office arrested Gordon Dean French, 45, and Billie Jean French, 31, each of 146 Henderson St., Greenwood and charged each with unlawful conduct toward a child.
According to reports, after receiving an anonymous tip, deputies went at 1 p.m. Wednesday to the Henderson Street home to conduct a welfare check. Deputies met with the suspects and told them they were concerned there were children living at the home and the residence did not have power. Deputies noted there was one child at home with the suspects at the time.
The report said there was no power to the residence and it was filthy. However, the suspects said they were in the process of moving and would be out by the end of the week. The report said the suspects told deputies they only came to the home to move items during the daytime hours.
The report said deputies did see moving boxes in the home upon that first visit.
According to the report, deputies returned to the Henderson Street home at 7 a.m. Thursday.
They then told Gordon French they would call the Department of Social Services if there were any children in the home, since there was no power there. The temperature outside at the time of the second visit was reportedly 34 degrees.
Gordon French told deputies there were no children present in the house. Deputies went into the house and noted the moving boxes present the day before were now unpacked and the boxes were nowhere in sight.
The residence was described as a "filthy mess" that smelled of urine. The kitchen was "filthy with roaches and flies" and there were reportedly roaches and flies in the refrigerator. There was food in the refrigerator, but with no power on in the house and roaches and flies in the refrigerator, deputies considered the food unedible.
Deputies encountered a closed door in the house and asked Gordon French what was inside. He said there were dogs in the room and the dogs would bite.
Deputies opened the door and found Billie Jean French and a 4-year-old boy lying on a mattress on the floor. A second child of the family - a 7-year-old girl - was not at home during either of the deputies' visits.
The two suspects eventually were taken to Greenwood County Detention Center. Meanwhile, the children were taken into emergency protective custody.