A South Carolina mother and her boyfriend were arrested Monday after an “unbearable” odor prompted a check-in at their home, where police found maggot-infested trash, animal waste, a squirrel and her two children covered in insect bites and sores, authorities said.
Jenny Lynn Paradis, 43, and Joshua Palmer Vaught, 22, were charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child, with Paradis receiving a subsequent charge for mistreatment of animals, the Sun News reported.
The two children were removed from the home and placed in protective custody, a Horry County police report said.
Paradis reportedly told police that while she agreed that the home wasn’t suitable for her children, she “just didn’t feel like cleaning due to being tired."
Police encountered a strong odor of cat urine along with trash piles of feces and maggots outside the house, WMBF-TV reported. The inside was insect-ridden and contained several animals in poor condition, including a pit bull, a wild squirrel, and a “cat with an infected wound on its head.”
Officers said they found the children covered in bug bites, apparently from bed bugs and fleas. The children appeared to be dirty, but told police that “they do bathe but sometimes the bathroom is full of spiders."
“At no point during the six months of living in these conditions did [Paradis and Vaught] attempt to resolve the issues or request assistance."
The children, who slept on top of dirty clothes and trash, received medical treatment, the report said.
Vaught reportedly told police that he, Paradis and her two children had lived in those conditions since October 2017.
“At no point during the six months of living in these conditions did [Paradis and Vaught] attempt to resolve the issues or request assistance,” the report said.
Paradis and Vaught were being held at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to court documents. Paradis remained incarcerated as of Wednesday. Vaught had been released Tuesday on $2,500 bond.