Deputies executing an arrest warrant found a 2-year-old boy left alone in a locked bedroom in soiled diapers and a bowl of cereal.
They also allegedly found marijuana, pipes and small bags in the Gaston home and have arrested the child’s 21-year-old mother and two men who live in the home.
The investigation began Jan. 8 when officers went to the home about 1:30 p.m. to serve an arrest warrant on a woman who is wanted on a charge of driving a motor vehicle with a driver’s license that had been suspended, according to the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies found that the front door had been forced open and could not be secured, Sheriff James Metts said. They also detected a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the residence.
"Due to the exigent circumstances, deputies entered the home and began searching rooms in order to determine whether the woman who was wanted was at the home," Sheriff Metts said.
They didn’t find the woman. But they found a bedroom with a door locked from the outside.
“After the deputies unlocked the bedroom door, a 2-year-old boy exited the bedroom,” Sheriff Metts said. “The boy was wearing only a diaper, which needed to be changed. Deputies found a bowl of cereal on the floor of the bedroom.”
They believe the boy had been left alone for about two hours before they found him.
Detectives took the 2-year-old boy into emergency protective custody, placed him in a clean diaper and clothed him, Sheriff Metts said.
Deputies also allegedly found about 128 grams of marijuana at the home, water pipes that are used to smoke marijuana, scales and plastic bags that are used to store marijuana that is offered for sale, Sheriff Metts said.
“Deputies also found one beer can and knives scattered around the home, which was in a state of disarray,” Sheriff Metts said. “Deputies found trash in the living room and pots containing food that had been left on the stove for at least one day in the kitchen.”
The mother and the two men arrived later at the home where they were then arrested.
Ms. Tabitha Shea Jones, 21, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child by a legal custodian and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
They charged Mr. Brandon Lee Perryman, 22, and Mr. John David Swygert, 23, with possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it, Sheriff Metts said.
The 2-year-old boy was placed in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services after Lexington County Emergency Medical Services personnel examined the boy and determined he was alright, Sheriff Metts said.
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