Two South Carolina parents are in jail after authorities reportedly found their children living in a squalid home filled with bags of trash, animal waste, insect swarms, various animals in poor health, and an “unbearable odor,” WALB-TV (Albany, Georgia) is reporting. What’s worse, the children were allegedly covered in sores and bug bites.
Police were called to the home of Jenny Lynn Paradis, 43, and her 22-year-old boyfriend, Joshua Palmer Vaught, this week after a neighbor complained of a smell that they believed may have been drug-related. When police officers arrived, they spoke to Vaught and a neighbor. While Vaught was explaining that he lived there with Paradis and the children, an officer noticed someone appearing to remove bags of trash from the home and placing them in the back of a truck. An officer told Vaught to call Paradis and have her come to the home.
Meanwhile, officers checked the home to see if it was suitable for children to live there. It was not.
According to the officer’s report, bags of trash, crawling with maggots, were on the front porch, as was an open pile of cat litter containing cat feces. Cats were walking into and outside of the house through a hole. There was no air conditioning.
What officers found inside was much worse. There was trash “everywhere,” according to the report. Animal feces and urine covered the floor. Animals walked to and fro, some of them near death, like a cat who had an open, infected wound on its head. Dirty dishes filled the sink, while swarms of bugs filled the house.
So cluttered was the home with trash and dirty laundry that there was no space on the bed for the children to sleep.
“The odor was unbearable.”
When the children arrived at home, officers allegedly found them covered in open sores and insect bites.
Jenny Paradis allegedly told officers that she wanted to clean the home, but she was “too tired.” Meanwhile, the dirty kids said that they would bathe, except that the bathroom is “covered in spiders.” One child was wearing Paradis’ shoes because he didn’t have his own.
“At no point during the six months of living in these conditions did [Paradis and Vaught] attempt to resolve the issues or request assistance.”
Three different agencies were called on to resolve the situation. The parents were taken downtown, and charged with two counts each of unlawful neglect of a child, plus a charge for Paradis for mistreatment of animals. The children were placed into emergency custody and will likely require medical treatment. Meanwhile, Animal Control was called to deal with the animals, most of which will likely have to be put down.