A woman has been charged in connection with animal mistreatment and unlawful neglect of a child after police entered her home and found it “unfit for human or animal inhabitance,” according to a Myrtle Beach police report.
Karen Nickerson, 53, of Myrtle Beach, was arrested on Saturday after a concerned family member contacted police about possible child and animal neglect at her residence on Hawthorne Lane.
When police arrived at her home, “the smell of animal urine and feces was overwhelming from the door and it could be smelled from the street,” an officer wrote in the report.
When he knocked on the door and touched the handle, the door opened and “hundreds of roaches fell from around the door frame,” the report says.
After police went inside, they noted that there were at least 12 cats and that the home was “cluttered, filthy, and had garbage and dirty clothing and feces all over.”
“Hundreds, if not thousands of roaches and bugs were crawling and flying inside and outside the residence,” police say.
One of Nickerson’s sons told police that “this has been going on for years,” and that she has a “bad drinking problem.”
He also told police that Nickerson showed up to her other son’s high school graduation last Thursday and “collapsed in the school’s lobby and was not allowed to see the graduation,” according to the report.
Police said Nickerson appeared “intoxicated and dirty,” and had to be taken to the hospital because she fell on her head outside.
The Department of Social Services worked out a safety plan for her children.
Nickerson remains in jail as of Tuesday evening, and was charged with 12 counts of animal treatment and two counts of unlawful neglect of a child by a legal guardian, online jail records show.
Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles