Family Crimes

South Carolina Couple Arrested And Kids Removed From Filthy, Stinky Home, Police Say

Cops said they found insects, cat poop, and a feral squirrel inside the home of Jenny Paradis and Joshua Vaught.

A South Carolina couple's "unbearable' home was so covered in bugs and animal waste that cops arrested them and put the two kids living there into emergency protective custody, police said.

Horry County police arrested Jenny Paradis, 44, and her boyfriend Joshua Vaught, 22, Monday and charged them with two counts each of unlawful neglect of a child, according to WMBF News in Myrtle Beach. Horry County police also charged Paradis with mistreatment of animals.

Authorities caught wind of the situation because someone complained to the Department of Social Services and said there was a strange odor coming from the house that could possibly be related to drugs. A police officer went to the home to check it out, according to the station, an NBC affiliate.

What they found was deplorable, inside and out.

Before officers went into the house, they noticed trash on the porch. There was a drive shaft for a car next to mounds of garbage crawling with maggots as well as a large amount of kitty litter full of feces. They could smell cat urine while standing in the yard, according to WMBF News.

It was worse inside the home. Animal feces and urine blanketed the floor, and the house was "full of various insects," the police report read, according to the station. Police found several sick animals, including a feral squirrel, a pit bull, and a cat with an infected wound on its head. The hurt cat was joined by many other felines, who entered and exited the house through a hole in a kitchen window. 

“The odor was unbearable,” the police report said, according to WMBF's report.

The kitchen sink was packed with dirty dishes and bugs and trash. There was no space on the floor or in the bedroom where the children slept that wasn't covered with some sort of debris. The kids themselves were afflicted with bites and sores, signs that the home could be infested with bed bugs and maybe fleas, the report said.

The kids told the cops that they didn't bathe often because "sometimes the bathroom is full of spiders." One of the kids was wearing adult shoes because they didn't have any, according to WMBF News.

Officers questioned Vaught about the way they were living, and he told them it had been like that since Oct. 2017. Paradis agreed with officers that the conditions were terrible and children shouldn't be living there, but "she just didn't feel like cleaning due to being tired," the report said.

[Photo:  J. Reuben Long Detention Center]

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