York police arrest mother for shoplifting, throw party for kids
A fugitive mother who fled South Carolina with her five children during a multi-state manhunt for her in the death of her grandmother is back in York County facing charges her children were living in filth among maggots and farm animal waste.
Priscilla Elaine Sosebee, 31, is charged with felony neglect of a vulnerable adult in the Aug. 11 death of her grandmother.
She also now is charged with five counts of felony child neglect after her children had been living in “excessive filth, rotting food, animal excrement, farm animals, insects, maggots and other unsanitary conditions” at Sosebee’s home on Regal Oaks Lane near Clover, according to police arrest warrants.
The children are ages 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8, police said.
Sosebee was extradited from Ohio, where she was captured in late September. She was booked into the York County jail late Thursday.
York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said if a fugitive runs, “we will find you.”
“This situation was made worse by her taking the children,” Tolson said. “Why further endanger the children by running off with them? It would have been a whole lot easier and safer if she had turned herself in on the original charge.”
Sosebee’s grandmother died in August from neglect and malnourishment, while Sosebee was her primary caregiver, said Trent Faris, spokesperson for the York County Sheriff’s Office. The living conditions described as “dangerous” for the children were uncovered by York County detectives during the investigation into the grandmother’s death, Faris said.
After police received warrants for Sosebee’s arrest in the grandmother’s death, she fled with five children.
York Police Department Chief Andy Robinson said he was “relieved” to learn the children are safe and Sosebee is jailed.
“The safety of those children was our priority from day one,” Robinson said.
Police across the country were alerted to look for Sosebee. Her car was found abandoned in Virginia in September. Cuyahoga Falls police officers in Ohio arrested Sosebee in a motel Sept. 27.
The five children were not injured and were placed into emergency custody by Ohio child protective workers.
Sosebee has previous convictions for crimes against her children. York Police Department officers found her using the kids to help her steal from a store in September 2017. Sosebee’s children were living in a van and tent before that incident, police said.
When York officers learned one of the children had a birthday the day Sosebee was arrested in 2017, officers threw a party for the child with cake and gifts.
Sosebee was convicted in December, after spending three months in jail, on three counts of assault and battery, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, court records show.