St. George police find kids living in filthy conditions; Mother, boyfriend arrested

Theresa Bowers, left, and Benjamin Ahl
Theresa Bowers, left, and Benjamin Ahl

ST. GEORGE, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

ST. GEORGE, SC (WCSC) - A mother and her boyfriend are in jail after police discovered two children living in filthy conditions.

St. George police arrested 35-year-old Theresa Bowers and 37-year-old Benjamin Ahl of 313 South Parler Avenue and charged them with unlawful neglect of a child last Friday.

According to police, they received a complaint that Bowers' two children were living in filthy conditions. Bowers has an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. The house they were living in is rented by Ahl and the children belong to Bowers.

Police found cat feces where the children were sleeping and said the house was unsanitary inside and out. Police also found big black ants on the floor inside and trash everywhere. There were used feminine products on the window ledges in the kitchen and no running water in he house.

"You could smell odor coming from the residence before the door was even open," said St. George Police Lt. Eric Bonnette.

In the kitchen, police found dirty dishes with growth on them. The house did not have air conditioning and only a small fan was discovered. Big bags of trash were in plain site on the porch and in the yard.

"The only explanation that was given at the time was that they were trying," Bonnette said.

A woman who owns a nearby dog grooming business was shown the pictures of the inside of the house and she had this to say.

"It's sad, it's horrible," Michelle Mendoza said. "I saw the children, just pitiful, makes you want to cry."

The children have been placed in emergency protective custody with the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

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