NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A couple is facing charges for child neglect after Metro Nashville police said two toddlers with soiled diapers were left alone for nearly five hours in an “extremely dirty” apartment.
Officers were called to the apartment complex on Whites Creek Pike at approximately 12:31 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 after a neighbor reported seeing a toddler left unattended inside one of the units for several hours.
Once on scene, police and employees from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) reported seeing a toddler trying to open one of the windows, according to an arrest affidavit. They knocked on the door but said there was no answer.
While officers were trying to get a key for the apartment from management, the child answered the door and let them inside, where they found a second toddler. According to the affidavit, the children were ages two and four.
Authorities noted that both of the children were not dressed appropriately and had “extremely soiled diapers.” A DCS employee stated that one of the juvenile’s diapers was so full that it was falling down the child’s legs, and when she held the child, her clothes became wet.
DCS also said that the apartment was “extremely dirty” on the inside.
A neighbor told police she had noticed one of the toddlers standing in the window around 8 a.m., and the parents’ vehicles were not in the parking lot at the time. The neighbor said she knocked on the door multiple times before calling DCS.
While on the scene, officers said the children’s mother, 27-year-old Minesha White, returned to the residence. White reportedly told police she had left the children in the care of her boyfriend, 29-year-old Raymond Harris, but no adults were present when they arrived.
Text messages between White and Harris explaining when they could return home reportedly indicated they both knew the children were home alone. Police said Harris showed up at the residence shortly after White arrived and admitted to leaving the toddlers alone.
After reviewing surveillance cameras at the location, authorities determined that White had left the apartment around 5:30 a.m. that morning and Harris had left around 7 a.m. Officers did not see them return to the residence after that.
White and Raymond were both arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect involving a child 8 years old or under. DCS then took charge of the children and took them to a family member’s home.