Johnson City Press: Washington County parents arrested after toddler found wandering as they slept
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Washington County parents arrested after toddler found wandering as they slept

Becky Campbell • Updated Jan 8, 2019 at 6:25 PM

The parents of two children who were reportedly found living in unsanitary conditions were arrested by Washington County sheriff’s officers on aggravated child neglect charges after their toddler was found walking around barefoot and dirty Monday morning by a neighbor.

Kenneth R. Holt, 33, and Amber N. Holt, 30, of 225 Cherish Court, Gray, were taken into custody around 9:30 a.m. Monday after officers responded to a call about a child found walking barefoot in her yard. An officer also noticed the child was “covered in urine and dirt,” according to the affidavit.

Other officers went to the door of the residence in an attempt to find the child’s parents, but no one answered. About an hour later, officers were able to get Kenneth Holt — who officers said appeared to be under the influence of some substance — to answer the door. Kenneth Holt told officers he and his wife had been asleep and didn’t hear them knocking.

The older child, 14, told officers his sister woke up crying, but their parents door was closed and wouldn’t wake up. The boy said he got her a drink of water then went back to bed.

The affidavit also stated that Amber Holt told officers her husband had been “doing drugs but doesn’t know exactly what he had been doing and (he) hasn’t been in a sober state in a while.” She also told officers she had been smoking meth and marijuana for the past several months.

Neither child was enrolled in school, but Amber Holt said she was homeschooling her children.

Officers said the home had partial electricity and running water, but there were several hazards that could injure the children, including knives, power tools and trash lying around. Officers also said the younger child’s room had dog feces on the floor and bed.

Each parent was charged with child abuse and neglect and aggravated child abuse and neglect. The children were turned over to Amber Holt’s parents. The Holts were scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in General Sessions Court Tuesday and were being held on a $50,000 bond each.

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Reported earlier:

The parents of two children found living in unsanitary conditions were arrested by Washington County sheriff’s officers on aggravated child neglect charges after their toddler was found walking around barefoot and dirty Monday morning by a neighbor.

Kenneth R. Holt, 33, and Amber N. Holt, 30, of 225 Cherish Court, Gray, were taken into custody around 9:30 a.m. Monday after officers responded to a call about a child found walking barefoot in her yard. An officer also noticed the child was “covered in urine and dirt,” according to the affidavit.

Other officers went to the door of the residence in an attempt to find the child’s parents, but no one answered the door. About an hour later, officers were able to get Kenneth Holt — who officers said appeared to be under the influence of some substance — to answer the door. Kenneth Holt told officers he and his wife had been asleep and didn’t hear them knocking.

During the investigation, officers were told by the Amber Holt that she had been smoking meth for the past several months. She also told officers she was homeschooling her children.

Each parent was charged with child abuse and neglect and aggravated child abuse and neglect. The Holts were scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in General Sessions Court Tuesday and were being held on a $50,000 bond each.

Check www.JohnsonCityPress.com later as more details become available.

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