When a North Carolina father came home from work, he didn’t expect to walk into the scene he found that started with the living room sofa and ended in the back bedroom. His wife’s dirty secret was on full display, and now she’s going away for a long time.
Lincoln County police received an unexpected phone call just before midnight from a distressed father who had just walked into anything but a warm welcome, requesting they come out to the decrepit home in the town of Dallas. Jerry Allen was concerned when he opened the front door and saw his naked 6-month-old alone and unresponsive on the sofa, but with no signs of physical injury. That alarming find sent him on a search for the rest of his family throughout the home.
The infant was dead by the point Allen got home, and there was no chance of reviving him, as he had been deceased for an unknown amount of time. The father frantically went looking for his wife, 30-year-old Stephanie Amber Tillman, and their two other children.
He found the remaining three in the back bedroom, where the couple’s two toddlers, 3- and 4-years-old, were also naked, but they were alert and seemingly unharmed, the Charlotte Observer reported. However, what Tillman was doing made the situation worse.
The mother was described as being extremely intoxicated on prescription drugs and had been high the whole time Allen was at work, rendering her incapable of caring for the three kids. The home was riddled with human and animal feces, and there was trash everywhere. The baby was left naked in these conditions on the couch and succumbed to the neglect, according to MyFox8.
Chances are, the home and children didn’t get this way in just one of Allen’s shifts. This decrepit circumstance had to have percolated for some time, progressively getting worse until one of their three kids wound up dead because of it.
The Observer reported that Tillman had allegedly been in an altercation of some sort days earlier, which was how she got the facial injuries seen in the mug shot from the infant’s death arrest. That fight came as a result of another drug-fueled instance, but it was not indicated with whom she went to brawls.
Allen was not held responsible for any part of the incident, and his wife was only hit with charges of child abuse and neglect. She was booked into jail on $10,000 bond.
After the infant’s autopsy determines the cause of death, her charges could (and should) increase. By failure to act sooner, Allen should be held accountable for this to some degree. He lived in the home with his strung-out wife, surrounded by piles of feces and garbage that didn’t get there overnight or without him knowing.
The couple’s remaining two children, who managed to survive this extreme case of neglect, were taken from the home by the Department of Social Services, who should have intervened long before now. Had the father stepped up to the plate sooner, his son would still be alive.