Couple arrested after girl, 12, found weighing 44 pounds


Columbia police arrested two individuals accused of not properly caring for a minor in their care after authorities say they found a 12-year-old girl weighing 44 pounds.

Police say 62-year-old Eugene Coleman and 57-year-old Joe Ann Coleman are charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.

The couple was arrested Wednesday and booked in at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. The report said after a thorough investigation by CPD's Special Victims Unit, the Coleman's are accused of not adequately feeding a 12-year-old girl in their care.

Police say following a recent visit to the home, it was discovered that the couple was allegedly not providing the girl with enough nutrition.

Investigators, child advocates and medical officials say the child was malnourished and underweight as a result of the Coleman's unlawful conduct.

Under South Carolina Code of Law 63-5-70, "... it is unlawful for any person who has charge or custody of a child, is parent or guardian of a child, or who is responsible for the welfare of the child to place the child at unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child's life, physical or mental health, or safety; or cause to be done unlawfully or maliciously any bodily harm to the child so that the life or health of the child is endangered or likely to be endangered."

The 12-year-old girl was taken into emergency protective custody and is currently doing well in foster care.

Police and the Richland County Department of Social Services (DSS) continue to investigate.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.