EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCHILD NEGLECT CHARGES
from Eyewitness News Online
Children Found Alone, Hungry & Thirsty Inside Motel Room, Mother Arrested
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: May. 22, 2012 10:29 AM EDT
Updated: May. 22, 2012 6:52 PM EDT
Kanawha City , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A mother is facing four counts of felony child neglect after police find her four young children alone in a hotel room, left to fend for themselves.
The children were ages 6-years-old, 2 and a half, 18 month and 8 months. Police say they were all found in a room at the Red Roof Inn in Kanawha City after a motel employee called police around 3am Tuesday.
"All of the kids were hungry," Officer Brian Lightner with the Charleston Police Department says. "When we initially got there one of the kids was trying to take a plate and trying to get water out of the toilet to drink, it was so sad."
Officers say 25-year-old Aurelia Lewis left her four children without anything to drink or eat and that they were wearing only diapers and underwear. Police say the children did have pieces of a left over pizza and when they entered the motel they found the youngest child face first, under the bed, trying to eat pieces of pepperoni and cheese which had been ground into the motel carpet.
"When Office Blackledge initially went to that child, he was very lethargic and unresponsive," Lightner says. Medics were called and the child was ok.
Police say Lewis eventually showed back up and was drunk. She told police she had left the children for 45 minutes. Her sister was also staying in a room at the motel, but police say instead of caring for the kids, the sister reported them to the motel staff and went back to her room. That's when officer's took matters into their own hands. They say they changed extremely dirty diapers while other officers went to Kroger and bought formula for the baby and drinks and snacks for the other children. They cared for the children until Child Protective Services arrived a couple of hours later.
"As a parent it's sad," Lightner says. "There are so many people who want to have kids and can't have kids and then you see a situation like this, a mother has four kids, obviously doesn't care for these kids. The 6-year-old child was changing the little one's diapers."
No one in the family was found fit to keep the kids so CPS has placed them in foster care. The mother is from Smithers. Police say they don't know why she was staying at the motel. Another guest told us they saw the mom earlier in the evening, leave the kids along in the room and go into a different room with a man.
A woman from Smithers is facing felony child neglect charges after four children were found alone, hungry, and thirsty in Kanawha City motel.
Aurelia Lewis, 25, was arrested after cops allegedly found an 8-month-old boy face down in a pile of pizza scraps having trouble breathing and another child so thirsty she tried to drink water from a toilet.
Police arrested Lewis when she showed up at the motel room. A criminal complaint said she "reeked of alcohol." Child Protective Service took custody of the four children.
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