UPDATE: Child neglect case headed to grand jury in Kanawha County

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UPDATE 5/17/17 @ 5:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A mother accused of keeping her two kids in kennel-like conditions remains behind bars.

Kristal Richard was in court Wednesday, asking for her bond to be lowered.

The magistrate denied the request, keeping it at $10,000 cash only.

Richard is charged with two counts of child neglect after troopers found her 2- and 5-year-old sons living in filth.

She is accused of keeping one of the kids enclosed with a piece of plywood, a tarp and a plate of food. The other was in a room with a half door and a mesh gate.

Richards waived her preliminary hearing Wednesday, and the case will head to the grand jury.



UPDATE 5/9/17 @ 8 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia State Police are consulting with the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office to determine if the mother of two children now removed from their home will face more charges.

Kristal Richard, 33, of Shrewsbury, was charged with two counts of child neglect creating the risk of injury after her two young kids, who troopers say were living in "dog kennel" like conditions in eastern Kanawha County, were placed in the care of Child Protective Services Monday night.

Richard is accused of keeping one of the children enclosed with a piece of plywood, a tarp and a plate of food. The other was in a room with a half door and a mesh gate. Troopers say she admitted to keeping the children in the enclosures while they ate and slept and admitted to them that she was unfit to raise children.

Richard told troopers that her 5-year-old son is autistic. Family members confirm that the 5-year-old old boy is autistic. They tell WSAZ that the children do not speak and the 5-year-old only says a few words.

The kids were discovered at a home along East River View Drive after troopers received an anonymous tip.

Family members and neighbors tell WSAZ they were completely unaware that anything was wrong. Many neighbors did not know kids even lived in the home.

First Class Trooper N.M. Manolakos with West Virginia State Police says there were no signs from the outside of the home that anything was wrong. He says in nearly a decade in law enforcement, he has never seem kids living in such "horrible" conditions.

"It's a terrible, terrible thing to see when you have children at home, unlivable conditions," he says. "The conditions resembled more like a kennel than a room for a child."

The children's father and suspect's husband, Joel Richard, says he was shocked to hear about the conditions his children were living in.

"I never thought in a million years that something like this would ever happen ... She's not the same person that I married six years ago," he said. "It's hard to believe any of this has happened, and I find myself at times saying is this real."

He says he had just filed for divorce from Richard and had not lived at the home with the suspect and their two children for the last month. He tells WSAZ he had not seen his children for weeks, aside from a brief weekend visit coordinated by his pastor.

Both boys did not have access to the bathroom. Both were naked when troopers arrived, and the 5-year-old exclaimed "yippie" when he was let out of the box. Troopers say the young boys had been urinating and defecating on the floor. Feces were found smeared all over the walls.

WVSP tell WSAZ the rest of the home was much cleaner, which leads them to believe the children had spent most, if not all of their time, in the boxes.

"The way that these children were pinned up, caged up, however you want to say it. It was the worse I'd ever seen, bar none," Manolakos tells WSAZ. "No bedding, no bed, no mattress, feces scattered all over the wall. Horrible conditions."

Richard is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond at the South Central Regional Jail.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/8/17 @ 10:03 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Two young kids, who troopers say were living in "dog kennel" like conditions in eastern Kanawha County, are in the care of Child Protective Services Monday night.

Their mom, 33-year-old Kristal Richard of Shrewsbury, was charged with two counts of child neglect creating the risk of injury.

West Virginia State Police troopers described the conditions as “awful,” which included the 2- and 5-year-old boys urinating and defecating on the floor. Feces was found smeared all over the walls.

The kids were discovered at a home along East River View Drive after troopers received an anonymous tip overnight.

Richard is accused of keeping one of the children enclosed with a piece of plywood, a tarp and a plate of food. The other was in a room with a half door and a mesh gate.

Both boys did not have access to the bathroom. Both were naked when troopers arrived, the 5-year-old exclaimed “yippie” when he was let out of the box.

Richard is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond.



 
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