Local News

Roanoke Rapids mother charged with child neglect

Posted September 29, 2010 10:41 a.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2010 6:32 p.m. EDT

— A Roanoke Rapids woman was arrested Tuesday on child neglect charges after authorities found two boys locked in a room filled with feces, police said.

Lauren Michelle Sutherland, 20, of 335 W. 4th St., was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was being held Wednesday in the Halifax County jail under a $5,000 bond.

Roanoke Rapids Deputy Police Chief Adam Bondarek said officers received a tip about child neglect and found two boys – ages 3 and 5 – locked in a room in Sutherland's apartment. Fecal matter was on the floor and walls of the room, he said.

"The entire residence was covered in filth. The conditions were abhorrent," Bondarek said.

Bondarek said what his investigators saw in the apartment will stay with them for a long time.

"It can hit home. We have families, too, and children, too," he said.

The Halifax County Department of Social Services was called to assist with the investigation.

Bondarek said investigators are looking into Sutherland's history to determine how long the neglect had been going on.

"Her behavior in this particular incident...is not an isolated incident," Bondarek said.

Sutherland's family members, who were at her apartment on Wednesday, said the home was clean of fecal matter. They said Sutherland is innocent.

The boys were being cared for by Sutherland's family members on Wednesday.