Children Found Living In Trash

MOUNDSVILLE – A Marshall County sheriff’s deputy responding to an unrelated report Wednesday arrested Heather Carney after he discovered her children living in deplorable conditions, with trash covering the apartment’s mildewed floors and drug paraphernalia in the bedroom.

Carney, 24, of Moundsville was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of felony child neglect. She remained in the Northern Regional Jail late Thursday in lieu of $10,000 bond.

According to court documents, Sgt. Ross Lockhart responded to a reported domestic dispute at Carney’s Woodland Knolls apartment around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. The dispute report was unfounded, but Lockhart noticed the apartment was wretched and had a “strong odor of dirty clothing and mildewed carpeting,” his report states.

Additionally, Carney’s 4-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son were “half clothed and filthy.”

Lockhart learned that the Department of Health and Human Services already was investigating Carney for potential abuse, and the deputy returned to the apartment later that day with a case worker.

In the kitchen, unwashed dishes reportedly were stacked on the counters and in the sink. Lockhart also found numerous prescription pills – later determined to be muscle relaxers – on the floor, documents state. Carney claimed she had recently dropped the bottle, but the pills were reportedly covered in dust, indicating they had been on the ground for an extended period of time.

“The ingestion of this drug by a child would likely have proven fatal,” the report states.

Lockhart also reportedly found numerous burned spoons tinted with residue in the master bedroom, as well as a syringe in the dresser drawer.

“The conditions of the apartment and the potential lethal drugs that were within reach of the children could have been caused by either parent, and could have been remedied by either parent, but were not,” the report states.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. next Wednesday in front of Marshall County Magistrate David McLaughlin. An attorney had not yet been appointed to represent Carney late Thursday.