A 30-year-old woman was charged with misdemeanor child abuse after police were told a 4-year-old had been wandering alone on Rawls Drive while wearing only pajama bottoms Tuesday morning and after they found another child in a dirty diaper and on a mattress with bugs crawling on it, they said.
Police described the scene at 832 Rawls Drive when they asked a magistrate for authorization to search the house.
Jaden Laura McEldowney was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor maintaining a dwelling for drug use after the search turned up marijuana, according to a warrant that officers got and used later that morning to search the house and then returned to the county court clerk’s office.
Senior Officer W.B. Edwards told the magistrate that the child had been out in the street unsupervised when he arrived shortly after 7 a.m.
The temperature at Raleigh-Durham International Airport at the time was 51 degrees.
Edwards wrote that after a neighbor, who had reported the child in the street, pointed out the house where the child lived, he went to an open back door and called for anyone inside to come out. Police refer to that as “challenging” an occupant.
“After several challenges, a female exited a back bedroom” and told police there were two children inside, Edwards said.
“As officers walked through the house with [McEldowney], they observed trash, dirty diapers and dirty dishes through the residence,” Edwards told the magistrate. Two dogs were in a bathroom “living in their own feces,” he wrote.
Officers found the second child, whose age has not been disclosed, in a bedroom, the warrant application said.
McEldowney was brought before a magistrate and freed on bail after being ordered to appear in court on April 21 on all four charges.
A police spokeswoman said officials from the county Child Protective Services office took custody of both children.