ELKINS, W.Va. – Elkins Police arrested a woman after a report of a young child walking alone in a parking lot.
On June 6, police were told of a baby walking through a parking lot by Bluegrass Park. The boy, who police learned is almost 2-years-old, was unattended, with barely a diaper on, according to a criminal complaint.
Police spoke to a woman who said she saw the child walking onto Yokum Street. The woman stated she picked up the boy to keep him out of the road, then placed him back down and followed him toward apartments on Yokum Street, according to police.
The woman told police that the child crawled up the steps to an open door, but the woman could not see any adults inside, and she received no response when she yelled twice, according to a criminal complaint. At that time, the woman called 911 and stayed with the child until police arrived.
When police arrived, they found the boy sitting on the porch, and an officer said he could smell a strong odor of bleach and other cleaning products, according to a criminal complaint. The child’s diaper was saturated in what police said smelled like urine and cleaning products. The child was also cold to the touch, according to police.
Officers went inside the home and saw a bleach bottle, a bottle of Windex and a bottle of Pine-Sol sitting on the floor in front of an open cabinet, according to a criminal complaint. Police said there was a strong odor of bleach, which appeared to be poured out onto the floor. There also appeared to be vomit on the floor, near the bleach, according to police.
Officers located a woman, identified as Kateria Brown, 24, of Elkins, in a bedroom behind a locked door. Police said Brown stated that she was in there because she was exhausted. Brown then became belligerent and began to scream for her child, according to police. After explaining to Brown that the child was safe, and she needed to calm down, police said they positively identified Brown. Brown became aggressive and refused all commands, according to a criminal complaint.
Police placed Brown into hand restraints and told her she was being arrested. Police said they called for Child Protective Services and Randolph County Emergency Medical Services to check on the child. An officer took photos of the inside of the home, and police said they found a large, uncovered vent hole in the floor that posed a danger to the child.
Police said the child was taken to Davis Medical Center to be evaluated. Police said they also contacted the child’s father, who was at work.
Brown is charged with child neglect creating risk of injury. She is in Tygart Valley Regional Jail.