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Second person charged with child neglect at Hurricane home

By Ryan Quinn, Staff writer

A man has been charged with child neglect creating risk of injury, at the same Hurricane home where the mother of the young children involved received the same charge last month.

A 2-year-old girl in the home was also hospitalized Friday after Hurricane police said they found her and her 3-year-old brother amid filth and drug abuse. The girl’s current condition could not be determined Monday.

The girl was naked and sick with white diarrhea, and officers wrapped her in a towel until emergency responders arrived, according to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court. Authorities turned the boy over to his great grandmother.

Billy Pearce, 36, of 135 Vaturia Drive, was arrested for child neglect and for an existing warrant for domestic battery. According to the complaint, he admitted to snorting a Percocet about an hour before officers arrived at the home around 2 p.m. and found him with the pill powder still under his nose.

Patrolman Joshua Lucas wrote in the complaint that Pearce told him the girl “had been sick for several days and that she was not given any treatment because he didn’t have a car.” He’s in West Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.

Police came to the home to check on a report of the children being left alone. The officers announced their presence and knocked on doors and windows loudly but received no answer. A neighbor told police the children were locked in a room.

“This officer was then able to see through a window and observed a room that had children’s toys and broken glass from several florescent light bulbs scattered across the floor,” Lucas wrote in the complaint. Officers then entered through an open window and immediately smelled feces and saw dried blood. The home was in a “deplorable state with dirty diapers and rotten food scattered around the floor,” Lucas wrote.

Police found Pearce hiding in the upstairs bedroom with the boy, who had a dirty diaper and urine-soaked clothing, and the girl, who was naked.

The area surrounding them had ceramic plates used for cutting and snorting pills in plain view, with white powder residue on them, the complaint states. There were also several prescription pill bottles and loose pills within the children’s reach on the nightstand and on the floor. Two empty bottles were for Hydrocodone.

Pearce received the domestic battery charge from a May 2013 incident at the same location. Susan Brock said Pearce was married to her daughter and he lived at the home from time to time. Brock said she got into an argument with Pearce while trying to persuade him to turn himself in for another warrant in Cabell County. Pearce allegedly grabbed her arm and spit on her.

Kelly Pearce, whose relationship to Billy Pearce is currently unknown, was arrested at the home for child neglect creating risk of injury on May 18 after police allegedly found her unconscious and intoxicated while her children were unsupervised outside. According to another criminal complaint, she admitted to officers that she took a Narcan pill and snorted a Lortab pill before passing out while watching her children.

Witnesses said they found the boy and girl alone in the street with little clothing and dirty diapers.

Officers found the front door to the home open with only the glass storm door closed. After knocking loudly and announcing their presence several times, they entered and found Pearce unconscious, and they yelled loudly to wake her.

“She was in such an impaired state that she did not know where she was or where her children were,” Lucas wrote in the complaint.

A state Child Protective Services worker told the children to stay with a neighbor until their grandparents could “make the house suitable enough for them to stay there.

The child neglect felony charges the two face carry a penalty of 1 to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $3,000.

Reach Ryan Quinn at ryan.quinn@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1254.


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