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Home  |  News  |  Deputies: Malnourished infant found living in deplorable conditions

Deputies: Malnourished infant found living in deplorable conditions

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Deputies in Colleton County say a 9-month-old malnourished child was hospitalized after it was discovered during a welfare check that the home he was living in was in "deplorable" condition.

Colleton County deputies and officials with the Department of Social Services responded to the home in the 400 block of Jesse Lane in Round O Friday to inquire about the welfare of their child.

Once inside the home, deputies say they observed heavy flea and roach infestation, as well as canine fecal matter,dirty dishes and trash all over the floor. Drug paraphernalia was also found in the home, officials say.

"The house was not in a livable condition," an incident report states.

Officials say there was no crib in the home, and the child slept with the parents in a bed that did not have sheets and "was covered in filth."

The baby's mother, who was prohibited from having contact with the infant by DSS, was found hiding in a closet at the home, the report states.

Authorities say the child appeared malnourished and lethargic. Both parents told deputies they were feeding the infant adult food because they did not have formula.

The father "did locate three jars of baby food in a bedroom," the report states. "The food was not readily available and it appeared he searched for the food after repeated inquiries by DSS about the child not having food."

Although the parents are reportedly approved for WIC, the father told deputies he did not have a way to go to the store to get food. No other food was present in the home, deputies say.

"I worked for the WIC office for a very long time, so I know how awful it is when babies are not treated properly," neighbor Karen Taackett said. "It's just terrible."

The report states the 9-month-old child was taken into emergency protective custody and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation. The child was found to weigh 13.6 pounds, nearly 12 pounds light of the doctor recommended 25 pounds. Preliminary tests also found an injury with the infant's spine, which were constant with Shaken Baby Syndrome, according to officials.
How do you not take care of an innocent child? They're helpless," Taackett said.

The child's father said in a telephone interview that he has never mistreated his son. He said the only thing he is guilty of is having a messy home and yard.

Colleton County deputies say no one has been arrested and the investigation is ongoing.

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