South Carolina mom arrested after police find children living amidst feces, trash while responding to death of toddler
TIMMONSVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA: A South Carolina mom has been arrested and charged after authorities responding to reports of the death of her infant child found her other children living amidst feces and trash.
The horrific condition in which the children were living came to light on October 15 when Florence County Emergency Medical Services, Florence County Sheriff's Office, and the Florence County Coroner responded to a residence on 3813 Oliver Road, Timmonsville, in reference to the death of her seven-month-old child, according to a press release.
Inside the residence, which belonged to 27-year-old Nicole Heyward McPherson, they found feces from various animals that were allowed to roam freely inside. They found feces in the bathtub and toilet and an "immense" amount of trash all around, including the bedrooms, kitchen, and living room areas.
Investigators found that McPherson had been living in the residence for several months and ruled that she had placed her children at an unreasonable risk of harm impacting their health and personal safety by allowing them to be in a home that they said was not suitable for living. They did not indicate how many children lived in the home or their ages.
McPherson was arrested on October 29 by deputies from the FCSO and charged with six counts of Unlawful Neglect of a Child. She is currently being held at the Florence County Detention Center on a $100,000 surety bond.
The investigation into the death of McPherson's seven-month-old child is still ongoing, with Florence County Coroner Keith Von Lutcken having ordered an autopsy of the child to be conducted. The other children have been taken into protective custody.
Neighbors and relatives told WMBF News that McPherson was being unfairly persecuted. "Everybody's bashing her for what she was charged with, but they don't see that none of the fathers are in the lives of none of the six kids", said her nephew. "She's a mother of six kids, she doesn't have no father help, no help, she never threw her kids off to nobody."
Brian Henkel, a family friend, similarly defended her and said, "I couldn’t believe it was happening to her. I’ve known her for a long time and I never observed anything bad. She was always good with the children and with other children."