Rock Hill mother charged with neglect after children found in filthy house

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comFebruary 6, 2014 

— A Rock Hill mother has been charged with five counts of unlawful neglect of a child after police and Department of Social Services employees found rotten food and roaches in her house and deemed the home to be unsafe for children, authorities said.

An officer went to the house Wednesday afternoon with DSS employees after a medical center called about the woman, Melissa Outen, 35. Outen had “dangerously high blood pressure,” according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report, and it was unsafe for her to be with the children.

A DSS employee told the officer that there was an open case against Outen for physical neglect of her children, but Outen had refused to meet with DSS about the case.

At the home on Bloomfield Road, the porch was covered with garbage, trash bags and broken glass, the report stated. The kitchen had plates covered with rotting food and the home smelled badly. Trash and clothes were scattered about the living room, and the officer saw roaches crawling around, the report states.

Three small children, ranging in ages from 1 to 8, were taken into emergency protective custody. The 1- and 2-year-old children were wearing dirty diapers that needed to be changed, the report stated.

Outen then told officers she had two more children, ages 9 and 11, who were coming home from school, but that the district had called to say the school bus had broken down.

When the officer called the school district, officials said the bus was fine and that the children had been dropped off at their stop at the end of the street. The older children were later taken into protective custody.

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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