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W.Va. mother charged with neglect

January 17, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A crying baby Sunday morning led to a child neglect charge being filed against a Berkeley County woman and the arrest of a fugitive, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The 7-month-old girl and her 2-year-old sister were placed in the custody of their maternal grandmother by the Department of Social Services, said Capt. Curtis Keller.

A hearing Tuesday will determine whether the children stay with their grandmother, Keller said.

The baby was found with a full diaper, police alleged.

The 7-month-old girl had been crying for more than three hours when Deputy Richard Burrell arrived at the Roberts Gardens home to check on the welfare of the child after a neighbor called for police, the sheriff's department alleges.

When no one answered the door, Burrell and a neighbor broke through a sliding glass door at Apartment 1A at 407 Roberts Gardens around 11:30 a.m., police said.

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Burrell found the children's mother asleep on the couch with the older child behind her and the baby crying in a baby carrier on the floor, police alleged.

Burrell said the woman and her female roommate said they did not hear the baby crying or people knocking on their door because they were sleeping.

Cheryl Ann Welch, 22, was charged with child neglect, police said. Welch was being held at the Eastern Regional Jail on Monday night on $7,500 bond, police said.

Her roommate, Sherrie Louise Anthony, 36, was wanted by authorities in Osceola County, Fla., on charges of petit larceny and grand theft auto in the third degree from 1995, police said. Anthony was released from the jail on $30,000 bond, police said.

Police alleged the home's kitchen was in disarray with items strewn about and there was no milk in the refrigerator, although one of the women told police there was powdered milk.

Welch is the fourth Berkeley County woman in less than a week to face a child neglect charge.

- On Saturday night two Martinsburg women were charged with child neglect after West Virginia State Police alleged they found six young children sick in a Berkeley Gardens apartment containing dog feces and little food.

Sisters Myisha Foxworth, 24, and Pamela Foxworth, 27, of Building 304, Apartment 102 at Berkeley Gardens, were being held at Eastern Regional Jail on Monday night, police said.

- Last Friday, Sara Louise Howard, 37, of Martinsburg, turned herself in after being charged with three counts of child neglect resulting in death in connection with the Nov. 13 house fire at 211 E. Liberty St. that eventually claimed the lives of her three young children from complications from smoke inhalation and heat, according to records in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Howard was being held at Eastern Regional Jail on Monday night on $45,000 bond, police said.

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