Local News

Cumberland Authorities Look For Mother After Finding Young Children Living In Filth

Posted August 13, 2003 4:00 a.m. EDT

— A Cumberland County drug raid uncovered six young children living in filth. Authorites have arrested one person and are looking for another.

During a raid Tuesday afternoon, deputies found drugs and guns inside a mobile home on Macaville Circle. Demetrius Lamont Polk, 25, and four small children were inside the home. The children ranged in age from 5 months to 3 years of age.

According to Lt. Sam Pennica of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, three children were unclothed and playing in a bathtub full of dirty water. Two other children, ages 6 and 7, came home from school while deputies were still on the scene.

The 5-month-old appeared to have breathing difficulties and was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. He was treated and released on Wednesday. The other children were placed in the custody of the Division of Social Services.

There was one bed in the home which used by Polk and his wife while the children slept on the floor and sofa. The home had only one usable bedroom and was extremely filthy, according to Pennica.

"It's really sort of phenomenal to think how that many people, particularly with that many small children, could live in those conditions," he said.

A small amount of crack cocaine, marijuana, three handguns and ammunition were found during the search. One of the handguns had been reported stolen from a near by residence early Tuesday morning, according to Pennica.

Polk, who is believed to be the father of three of the children, was charged with maintaining a dwelling for drugs, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine and possession of a stolen firearm. He is in the Cumberland County Detention Facility under a $7,000 secured bond.

Pennica said the drug investigation will continue, but after finding those children, it was not as important as the children's welfare.

"Our first concern was the well-being of those children -- that they're safe and being taken care of properly," he said.

Pennica said Polk's wife is the mother of all six of the children. Deputies are not releasing her name, but they are looking for her on the abuse charges.