Pictures Show Conditions Of Trailer Where Teens Died In Double Murder-Suicide
Posted December 7, 2001 6:14 a.m. EST
JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. — Kent and Nissa Warren are spending the first of 45 days in jail after a jury found them guilty of charges connected to the death of their three children. The deplorable conditions in which the family lived were an issue during the trial. For the first time, the press got a look inside their mobile home.
From the day deputies discovered the Warren children dead in their Johnston County parents' home, officers explained how teenagers Brandon, Kyle and Marnie Warren lived in some of the worst conditions they had ever seen.
Capt. Dale Wheeler of the Johnston County Sheriff Department was one of the first investigators to arrive at the home.
"The only way you would know is if you were there. The smell was bad. It came from a combination of things," he said. "Some of it smelled like rotten food and some of it was probably animal waste."
Pictures of the trailer were shown to the jury as evidence during the Warrens' trial on Wednesday, making them public record. The pictures show flies on the ceilings, boards covering holes in the floor and junk heaped up everywhere.
Pictures also revealed that the only bathroom in the house was unusable. The trailer was home to a large number of cats, a few rabbits, leaving little room for humans.
"I've been in law enforcement for 26 years, and this was one of the worst maintained homes I've ever been in," Wheeler said.
Many have asked the question, when the Department of Social Services saw the squalor the teens were living in, why did it allow the teenagers to keep visiting the home during daytime hours? The department said the answer was not that simple.
"You have to take consideration of a lot of factors; the age of the children, whatever trauma would happen to them if they were removed from the situation," said Earl Marett, director of Johnston County Department of Social Services.
The DSS said if the Warren children were a lot younger, they would have been removed from the home immediately. Instead, the DSS thought that because they were teenagers, they would have been able to help their parents clean the place so they could stay home.