Seven children between the ages of 1 and 10 have been taken into protective custody by the South Carolina Department of Social Services after authorities found them living in a home near Charleston with two filthy bedrooms.
Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies had gone to the house Wednesday after a property management inspector became concerned during a visit and contacted law enforcement.
The inspector described the conditions and said he had discovered a child was locked in a bedroom, a deputy’s incident report says.
Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker said two upstairs bedrooms at the house in Summerville were in total disarray, and that “animal feces, dirty diapers, dirty wipes, trash, things like that” were present.
Two people, parents of five of the children, were arrested. Erick Perez-Viera and Diana Sablon are each accused of five counts of child neglect, Lt. James Clarke said.
A judge set bail at $100,000 and both were in custody Thursday night, he said.
It is unclear whether they have attorneys.
The incident report says the inspector came on an announced visit, knocked on the door and no one answered. He went inside the unlocked home, and upstairs he found doors “closed and deadbolted from the outside,” the report says.
He tried to open a door, according to the report, and heard a child say, “Let me out. I am hungry.”
The man went downstairs, found a woman and asked whether he could let the child out. The woman told him no, the report says. The woman’s husband came home and asked why the inspector was there, the report says.
The man left after he heard screams coming from upstairs, he told deputies.
Deputies who went to the home and found that the bedroom for five children smelled “horrific,” the report says, and every room had a camera in it. The room also contained “an unknown number of small caged animals,” according to the report.
The two rooms used by the principal tenant and her two children were “livable,” the report says. Authorities took all the children into protective custody.
Baker said an investigation is ongoing to determine whether charges are warranted against the woman.