Live 5 Investigates: The biggest deadbeat parents in the Lowcountry

Live 5 Investigates: The biggest deadbeat parents in the Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -A Live 5 News investigation has uncovered the biggest deadbeat parents in the Lowcountry.

They are not hardened criminals but are hurting their own kids financially and owe thousands of dollars in child support.

We did the research and found dads and moms on the list.

Jerry Lee Bonner owes $148,481.40 in court ordered child support.

Walter Pangalangan owes $141,140.00 in child support.

Sherelyn Cureton knows what the parents who are owed money are going through.

Her son-in law, Timothy Byrd is one of the top deadbeats in Colleton County.

Byrd owes more $74,580.45 to his two kids.

Cureton has custody of the children.

"I got one check for $56 that they collected when he had a job," Cureton said. "Yeah I'm mad, I'm mad at Tim Byrd because he did not take care of his responsibility, he did not do what he should have done. He knew he had to pay child support."

David Woods he owes $135,855.45 in child support.

Daniel Biering III owes $105,402.95 in child support.

Sgt. William Tindal with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office says it can be very difficult to track down deadbeats.

"You get parents that don't pay, move out of town, they'll move out of state. We've got one now, got one that lives in Asia, so he's gonna be very difficult to find," Tindal said.

Then there are the deadbeats who do not run.

Jeremy Lewis was arrested and locked up in the Charleston County Jail on March 12th.

Lewis who owes $7,000 in child support to his three kids was ordered to serve a six month sentence.

Lewis told me he was out of work when a judge originally ordered him to pay child support or go to jail.

"Since then I maintained two jobs and brought it down from $15,000 to $7,000 but because I didn't pay when they ordered me not to is why I'm in jail," Lewis said.

Lewis says he feels bad that he can't pay his kids their money.

"Really I do because me being here isn't helping," Lewis said.

SInce our interview we learned that Lewis was released from jail on April 5th.

Court records show he paid his child support.

Tindal says people who are locked up for unpaid child support should have thought about the consequences before they were arrested.

"My personal opinion is if they would pay to begin with they wouldn't be in jail," Tindal said.

Sherelyn Cureton has no sympathy for her deadbeat Timothy Byrd.

She believes Byrd is living in North Carolina.

"Regardless if he's in South Carolina or he's in California they need to go after him," Cureton said. "I want him to suffer in jail to get that money. He has warrants on him. He needs to stand like we all do and be accountable. He needs to stand up and do right. I just want justice for these children, and any parent that is fighting child support, everybody needs to be heard."

The penalty for a misdemeanor charge of failure to pay child support is a fine up to $2500 as well as six months in jail. However, the penalty for a felony is up to 18 months in jail.

Copyright 2019 WCSC. All rights reserved.