Police in South Carolina have charged a mom with at least five counts of neglect after her five children were found living in a cockroach-infested home. WMBF News reports that 35-year-old Crystal Lawson left her children living in total squalor, but that’s not the only detail in this horrifying case of neglect.
WYFF 4 News reports that authorities in Woodruff responded to calls made by an unnamed family member, who had expressed concern over the children’s welfare. What they found when they visited the home of Crystal Lawson is nothing short of heartbreaking. The 35-year-old South Carolina mom allowed police to enter her home, where they discovered five children — including a young paralyzed child — living among cockroaches and filth.
Authorities in Spartanburg County revealed that the home was crawling with cockroaches. Media reports indicate that the insects were found crawling all over the floors, walls, and ceilings of the Woodruff home. The countertops in the kitchen were also infested with roaches. The home was reportedly “filthy and in disarray,” and the refrigerator was empty, save for dead bugs and a putrid odor. Authorities also confirm that there was no food in the cabinets. On top of a cockroach infestation, the home was also inhabited by rodents.
One of the five children found living in the squalid conditions is a paralyzed child, who was found sitting in a stroller by herself. Authorities report that her legs were covered in bug bites — which could indicate that cockroaches or some other kind of insects in the home had been chewing on her while she was unable to defend herself against them. Fortunately, all five of the children have been removed from the home, and are currently in the custody of the state.
This is not the only case of child neglect in which cockroaches have been involved. Inquisitr News reported in April of this year that an Oklahoma woman left her baby to die on the dirty floor of her home. To make the story more horrific, cockroaches had reportedly fed on the infant prior to and after her death. Also this year, a malnourished teenager was found living in a cockroach-infested home in Louisiana. The 15-year-old boy weighed only 47 lbs when authorities discovered him in his mother’s filthy home. The teen’s mother, Rose Holland, was charged with crimes associated with child cruelty and drug possession. The drug charges stemmed from the allegation that the mother of the neglected teen was outside smoking crack at the time that police arrived.
[Photo: Spartanburg County Police mugshot]