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Williamstown woman facing child neglect charge

WILLIAMSOWN — A Williamstown woman is being charged with child neglect after her teenage disabled son was alone in a business and their home was found to be unlivable.

After a history with Child Protective Services, Jennifer Ann Young, 43, 140 Kellar Lane, Williamstown, was arrested due to the conditions of her home which were described by Wood County Sheriff’s Deputy J.C. Wetzel as the worst he had ever seen, according to a criminal complaint filed with the Wood County Magistrate Court.

Law enforcement responded to a business in Williamstown following a call regarding a teenage boy who had come into the store and seemed to have developmental disabilities, the complaint said.

“(He) is 15 years old but has mental health issues that leave him with a diminished capacity,” the complaint said.

The boy said he liked to come into the store to eat the candy and drink hot chocolate the business puts out for its customers, the complaint said. He provided his address on Kellar Lane and CPS was contacted; law enforcement went to check out the home while the boy was in custody at the Department of Health and Human Resources, the complaint said.

At the residence, nobody answered the door but the garage door was propped open by a brick. Officer went inside and did a security sweep before looking around the home, according to the complaint.

“Upon entering the home, the odor in the home was an overpowering, intense smell,” the criminal complaint said. “(Wetzel) has been in homes where subjects have died and not been found for extended periods. The smell in this house was similar to the smell of death in those homes.”

The home did not have electric or heat, there was mold in the refrigerator and the kitchen floor was covered with mold, the complaint said.

“There did not appear to be any access to clean food utensils (for him) to eat with or dishes to use,” the complaint said.

A walkthrough of the home revealed horrific living conditions including sewer water in the basement and there did not appear to be a safe place for the child to sleep, the complaint said.

The bathroom was filled with a mixture of water and feces and there was feces in the bathtub — the boy said he is scared to use the toilet because he was afraid he would fall in, according to the complaint.

The boy was taken into custody of a CPS worker who was familiar with Young who was recently cleared by CPS last month but the house still did not have running water or electricity, the complaint said.

CPS interviewed the son who said the home had been without power for six days and he had walked to nearby businesses to charge his phone and while doing so, had to walk alongside roads with speed limits ranging from 45 to 55 miles per hour, the complaint said.

“It does not have sidewalks or crosswalks. It is not a safe area for a child of (his) capacity to be walking alone,” the complaint said.

Young is being charged with child neglect creating risk of injury and was released on a $2,500 surety bond.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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