Conway grandmother indicted on cruelty to children charge

02/14/2013 6:07 AM

02/14/2013 5:05 PM

A Conway woman was indicted on a cruelty to children charge that involved three children found in her home without running water in February 2012, according to authorities.

Joanne Ellyn Kuppart, 55, was indicted on the charge in Horry County grand jury indictments released Friday. The indictment showed that the children were in the home between Jan. 30, 2012, to Feb. 10, 2012.

Kuppart is the grandmother of the children and her daughter, the children’s mother, Jean Marie Martell, 33, also was charged in the incident. Martell was not indicted by the grand jury.

Police went to their Conway home after a social worker with the state Department of Social Services called to report two boys, ages 11 and 6, were at the home with no adult supervision, according to a police report. The worker said it was the third time he was at the home for complaints about the home being dirty and smelly.

The social worker told police he was at the home on Jan. 30, 2012, because there was no running water and the women said they were working on getting the water turned back on, according to the report. Police noted there was no running water in the house and it had been off for at least 12 days, and the home was dirty.

“The stench omitted from the residence when the entry door to the residence was opened was overwhelming. Each end table, countertop and piece of furniture was completely covered with dirty dishes, clothes and trash,” the officer wrote in the police report. “There were stacks and stacks of unclean dishes, trash and moldy food occupying the kitchen counter.” Police also noted the three bathrooms in the house were overflowing with human waste and there were empty and full gallon water jugs that were used for washing inside the house, according to the report.

The 6-year-old boy told police he thought he had a bath in December, but he did not remember exactly, according to the report. The boy also was sick and taking cough drops.

The boys along with an 8-year-old boy were taken into emergency protective custody by police.

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