MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - Deputies say two people face multiple charges after investigators found their children living in "deplorable conditions" and discovered more than 30 dead animals at a Moncks Corner home.
Philip Daniel Heatley and Courtney Lynn Heatley are charged with two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child and 24 counts of ill treatment of animals, according to Berkeley County Sheriff's spokesperson Michael Mulé.
Sheriff's deputies conducted a welfare check after receiving a tip that there may have been a vulnerable adult living at a home on Honey Bee Drive in Moncks Corner, but deputies determined the adult was not in any apparent danger, Mulé said.
Deputies say the woman told them she believed there was a dead dog in her shed and gave consent for deputies to search the property.
After discovering the carcasses of numerous animals, detectives with the sheriff's office obtained a search warrant for the property and subsequently located throughout the property a dog, ducks, chickens, a goat, a pony, rabbits and several other unidentified animals, investigators say.
Berkeley County Animal Control and The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources were contacted and responded to the property.
The couple and their two children, eight months old and 5 years old, were located and living in "deplorable conditions in a small camper on the property," Mulé said.
Both children were taken into emergency protective custody, deputies say.
In addition to the charges filed by the sheriff's office, the Department of Natural Resources also charged Philip Heatley with game violations, Mulé said.
The unlawful conduct toward a child charge is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and the ill treatment of animals charge is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and up to two years in prison.
Both suspects are being held at the Hill Finklea Detention Center pending their bond hearing scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.