Originally created 08/11/05

Aiken mother accused of child neglect



AIKEN - An Aiken woman was arrested Wednesday on child neglect charges after police found her living in squalor with her children.

Camelia Brown, 22, of the 100 block of Brown Lane, was arrested and charged with cruelty to children, said Sgt. David Turno, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety.

Ms. Brown was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center and is being held on $1,087.50 bond.

Two of her three children, who are 3 months old, 2 years old and 4 years old, were taken into state custody Aug. 4.

The baby and 2-year-old were filthy and covered in urine or dried feces and were cleaned up at the public safety department.

The 2-year-old was released to a grandmother, who already had the 4-year-old, and the department of social services took custody of the baby.

The arrest is the latest in a string of incidents this summer in which Aiken police have arrested or warned parents for neglect.

The incidents include a father who left his kids in a hot car with the windows rolled up and a family living with thousands of bats.

But Sgt. Turno said the num-ber of neglect cases is not on the rise.

"It just seems that there's more people looking at it," Sgt. Turno said.

According to the police report, Ms. Brown's home was filthy and had a "strong, unpleasant stench" when officers showed up Aug. 4 to check on the family.

An Aiken Public Safety officer found the baby crying in a car seat and the 2-year-old asleep on a dirty couch.

Ms. Brown had propped a bottle on the baby's chest using a dirty towel and showed the officer the rest of the house, which was filled with bare, dirty mattresses, soiled clothes and broken furniture.

The floors were sticky, the report states, and there were broken toys in the playroom.

In the kitchen, the officer found a pile of trash in front of the refrigerator, stagnant water under the sink, dirty dishes all over the counter and spoiled food in the refrigerator.

There also were open containers of beer inside the refrigerator and open bottles of medication on the counters.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.



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