Preston County couple arrested on child neglect charges

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A Preston County couple was arrested on child neglect charges on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, December 11, deputies with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department received a complaint from Child Protective Services that Joseph Velone, 35, of Tunnelton was at a home on Company House Road that was in violation of a protective order. 

Upon deputies’ arrival on scene, Joseph Velone’s wife, Brandy Velone, 32, of Tunnelton answered the door and told deputies her husband was not in the house. Deputies said they entered the home and began their required Child Protective Services check on the residence, and noticed the house was extremely cold. According to deputies, the outside temperature at the time was 31 degrees and the inside temperature of the house was near the same.

Brandy Velone told deputies that they had ran out of wood three days prior, and she was just about to make a phone call to get more wood when deputies arrived. Deputies said that one of the Velone’s sons told them that he had to go into the woods and locate broken pieces of wood covered in snow to attempt to bring some heat into the house.

Deputies also said that the entire house was filled with garbage, and that it appeared that an open garbage bag has been dumped on the floor of the bedroom of two of the Velone’s sons. Additionally, deputies said Brandy Velone’s daughter had to climb over piles of trash to gain access to her bed. Joseph and Brandy Velone’s room had piles of garbage laying on the floor, and stacks of soda cans several feet high on the stands near their bed, according to deputies.

Deputies said there was no power in the residence, and it was being powered by generator, however the Velones did not turn on the oven in attempt of any heat. There was no water functioning in the home, and the knobs to the bathtub appeared to be frozen, deputies said. Additionally, deputies said there were piles of used toilet paper next to the toilet, filthy dishes where the kitchen sink should be, cob webs coating the ceilings and bottles of pills strewn about the residence. Deputies said that due to the temperature of the home, Brandy Velone was shaking profusely, and deputies’ faces were were turning red.

Child Protective Services made an emergency plan to remove the children to a safer home prior to advising them the Velones would be charged, accoding to deputies. 

While deputies were on scene, Brandy Velone told deputies that one of her children threatened to kill themself and attempted to jump out of the second story window the evening prior to deputies’ arrival. However, the child told deputies that Brandy Velone shoved him. 

According to deputies, the protective order stated that Joseph Velone chased one of the children around the house, shoved him to the floor and tried to strike another child with his first before the child he was originally chasing intervened. Deputies said that the allegations of domestic violence were not reported to law enforcement by Brandy Velone.

Joseph and Brandy Velone have each been charged with child neglect with risk of injury.

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