NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County investigators have arrested two mothers after a deputy assisting in a welfare check at a North Charleston home said a smell at the residence began to burn his lungs.
The Charleston County Sheriff's office charged 33-year-old Angela Schaubhut and 36-year-old Cynthia Maria Steele with unlawful conduct towards a child.
On Monday, a deputy with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office responded to a home on Carter Road for a welfare check.
When the deputy arrived on scene, he spoke with case workers with the South Carolina Department of Social Services who said they came to the home for a report of possible abuse of an elderly man.
The elderly man said that he and his wife along with Steele and Schaubhut lived in the home with a 5-year-old and a 13-year-old child. Affidavits state that Steele is the mother of one child, while Schaubhut is the mother of the other.
A DSS case worker told investigators that when she approached the front door of the home, she could smell a strong odor of animal urine and feces coming from the residence. When DSS officials entered the home they reported observing litter and animal feces throughout the house.
The CCSO deputy also said he could smell a strong odor of urine.
An affidavit states pens for pigs, chickens and ducks were found outside of the home.
The deputy reported that as he entered the home, an "ammonia urine smell" became so strong that it began burning his eyes.
Court records state that the floor of the home was warped due to water damage, and the floor was not secured throughout the house. Authorities also reported that a living room couch had no cushions on it and was covered in dark colored unknown stains.
Steele told investigators that she and the children share a bedroom and sleep in one bed. According to CCSO officials, the bed sheets were dirty and stained, and dirty clothes, trash, debris and food littered the floor.
In addition, authorities found mold growing in the shower and roaches in the tub, the living room ceiling deteriorating as the main support beam was separating from the walls, and holes in the ceiling.
Investigators saw 15 cats, as well as two guinea pigs in cages.
When the the deputy entered the kitchen, a smell which he described as a "strong ammonia urine smell," began to to burn his lungs. The deputy reported seeing animal urine and feces on the floor.
Due to the deplorable condition of the home, the deputy took the children into emergency protective custody.