A South Carolina couple was arrested after seven children, including five of their own, were found in "horrific conditions" and two of them were locked inside a room at their house, according to police.
The parents, identified as Erik Perez-Viera and Diana Salbon, were arrested on Wednesday and were each charged with five counts of unlawful conduct toward a child. Authorities were alerted by an inspector with a property management company after he raised concerns about the home at 22 Patriot Lane in Summerville, Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said.
The inspector reportedly found a 3-year-old and 5-year-old locked in a bedroom with a deadbolt and called 911. Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker released a statement, saying the children, aged 1 to 5, were taken into the South Carolina Department and Social Services' care.
Baker, while giving a statement to The Post and Courier, said the deputies eventually determined that Perez-Viera and Salbon were the parents of five of the children. Reports state that human and animal feces were found in two bedrooms upstairs, including trash, according to the WCSC.
At the time of inspection, the couple's one-year-old child was at the doctor and two other children were at school. Reports state that another woman was living downstairs in the same house with two of her own children, who were also at school at the time. The woman was reportedly subletting the upstairs area to the couple at the time of their arrest. She has not been charged in relation with the case.
Another couple was also reportedly living in the garage of the home and they were not present when the arrests were made. According to the outlet, there were a total of 12 people living in the house at the time of the inspection.
The couple's neighbor, Lindsay Aggen, told The Post and Courier, ″(It) makes me sick, honestly. I feel bad that all of this was happening and nobody knew until now. ... I have never seen a kid in or outside of this home. There’s always construction-looking vehicles parked there and every trash day (Wednesdays) there’s an abundance of trash out front. I honestly thought the home was being flipped/renovated.”