Children Found "Filthy and Naked"; Parents Jailed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/04/07

Children Found "Filthy and Naked"; Parents Jailed

Police say it's one of the worst cases of child neglect they've ever seen. Tonight, the parents are in jail. Neighbors and police were shocked to see two little boys, naked, filthy and wandering dangerously close to a very busy road.

Bonnybridge Road, where semi trucks travel every day on their way to the Georgia Ports Authority, is no place for little children. So you can imagine how Jeanette Usher felt to see two small boys, ages three and four, wandering very close to some very big rigs.

"I was horrified and upset and I was afraid with all the trucks, they were going to get killed," said Usher.

Neighbors called police. What was just as upsetting to them: the boys weren't wearing any clothes.

"(They were) Filthy, naked," she said. "It's just disbelief, that somebody would let their kids go out like that."

"They were both naked and covered with feces," said Port Wentworth Police Sergeant John Etzle.

The boys ran into their home, a house in need of repair. Dead tree limbs and weeds cover the lawn. When Port Wentworth Police couldn't find their parents, they took the children away.

"I was stunned. It was unbearable," added Sgt. Etzle. "I've been doing this job for 12 years and I've never seen a situation as bad as that, especially having young children involved."

He said the house was not fit for anyone to live, especially children.

"The living conditions," explained Sgt. Etzle, "I could not even enter the home. It was extreme. Very extreme."

Police later found their stepfather, 28 year old David Flewallen, inside, sleeping. They arrested him along with the child's mother, 28 year old Jamie Flewallen, who had been out of the house at the time. Officers brought the boys to the Port Wentworth Police station. EMS checked them over to make sure they were not hurt. Port Wentworth Police Chief James Melvin even went to find them some clothes.

"It's upsetting," he said. "You hate to see anybody be treated like that, especially by their own flesh and blood."

Chief Melvin called it "regrettable," but something they hope they've now ended.

"Nobody likes to see a little child not cared for and not fed, clothed and kept clean," added Chief Melvin. 

Social workers placed the boys in the Greenbriar Children's home. David and Jamie Flewallen are in the Chatham County Jail facing multiple charges of child cruelty. They'll be in court in Port Wentworth on Tuesday.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly