South Carolina's "Parents" From Hell
People who do this type of thing to children make my blood boil:
Neighbors say the four children had not been seen outside Dennis and Molly McCurry's mobile home in several weeks. And relatives say the couple had not allowed them to see Molly McCurry's three nephews, whom the couple adopted, in months.It's incidents like this that make me wish that we would bring back corporal punishment and apply it to these
As authorities in a Spartanburg courtroom detailed Monday how the boys were found Thursday night - malnourished and neglected, sometimes tied to a bed post - Beverly Roberts, the boys' great-aunt, wept.
The children, ages 8, 7 and 5, each weighed less than 40 pounds when they were taken to a hospital Thursday night. The youngest boy weighed 19.8 pounds.
They all had burns, scratches and bruises on their backs and legs.
"The children said they were tied to a bed post to keep them from being able to eat," said Department of Social Services investigator Brenda Sparks, in a hearing in which a judge ruled the children would remain in state custody for the time being.
Authorities said their hands had been bound with plastic zip ties.
The couple's 10-year-old daughter was not malnourished.
Molly McCurry had offered to raise the boys for their biological mother, 23-year-old Nina West, until the woman "got back on her feet," said Freddy Justice, the boys' grandfather. West had gotten into legal trouble, said Justice, her father. And the boys' father was killed when a car struck him while he was riding a bicycle in July 2004, he said. West was supposed to be at Monday's hearing, Justice said, but she did not show up.
"At first I thought (the McCurrys) were wonderful parents," Justice said. "Then, all of a sudden, we were stopped from seeing them."
A sheriff's deputy arrived at the home Thursday night after a worried neighbor called authorities. A plastic pool, basketball hoop and swing set dot the back yard of the couple's Lyman mobile home, where an American flag flies out front.
A minute later, the McCurrys drove up and the four children filed out of the car. The deputy called an ambulance, because the children looked "extremely thin and very weak," according to an incident report. "The smallest male's face resembled a skeleton, with the skin withdrawn tight against his face," according to the report.
The McCurrys claimed the family had been dealing with a stomach virus, according to the incident report. But doctors at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center discounted that, saying the boys were malnourished and neglected.
The McCurrys were arrested Friday, and a judge denied bond later that night.
They said little in the Family Court hearing Monday. But they poured over photos of the boys that were presented as evidence by the Department of Social Services.
Several family members who attended the custody hearing Monday, said they were shocked at the boys' condition, though they have not been allowed to see them.
"We are a close-knit family," said Beverly Roberts, Justice's sister.
Two relatives are seeking custody of the 10-year-old girl. Family Court Judge Wesley Brown said the children would remain in state custody until background checks could be run on family members who wanted custody.
Justice said he hoped his daughter would be able take parenting classes and regain custody of the boys.
"Maybe they can be a family again, something they don't have now," he said.
But Monday, no one had filed for custody the boys.