SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Suffolk Police found young children living in deplorable conditions while serving a search warrant Tuesday.
Officers were called to the downtown area on June 5 for a report of a fight. That investigation led officers to Kimberly Shanqua Shelton, 20, who police say assaulted another woman as a gang initiation.
When officers arrived at Shelton's home on North Division Street Tuesday morning, they heard children's cries coming from a trailer behind the home. Upon closer inspection, the door of the trailer was padlocked.
After officers forced their way inside, they found a 2-year-old girl and 6-month-old boy alone in the camper. The windows were closed and there was no running water or power. There was an extension cord running from the home into the camper, which was the only means of electricity.
Police say the children's diapers hadn't been changed in some time and both were filthy and covered with bug bites. The young boy was also having some trouble breathing. Both children were transported to Sentara Obici Hospital for treatment.
Soiled diapers, feces and urine-covered bedding were reported to be inside the camper as well as a flea infestation and rotten floorboards.
The mother of the children, Jeronda Rena Wilson, 23, of Newport News was not at the home when officers arrived. She and her boyfriend, Cortney Johnson, were at the store buying beer.
"We wasn't even gone 10 minutes," said Johnson. "When we came back, there was a whole bunch of police cars in the front."
Wilson left the children in the care of Laron Huston Neal, 22, of Suffolk. Both Wilson and Neal were arrested and charged with two counts of abuse and neglect of children, reckless disregard and two counts of cruelty and injuries to children.
"She is a great mother. She is on top of everything and anything that happens to them kids," said Johnson. "She is on top of pampers being changed, them being fed, the whole nine yards. She's a great mother to her kids."
Johnson says the kids had bug bites from mosquitos in the yard. He said the 6-month-old boy had trouble breathing because he suffered from bronchitis.
Shelton was arrested and charged with assault and battery in connecton to the June 5 incident.
Both the home and the trailer were condemned and a Pit Bull was seized.
Child Protective Services left the children with their grandfather, who lives in Newport News.
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