Myrtle Beach woman arrested after child allegedly found in home - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Myrtle Beach woman arrested after child allegedly found in home with roaches, urine, feces

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Karen Nickerson (Source:  J. Reuben Long Detention Center) Karen Nickerson (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Myrtle Beach woman was arrested over the weekend after police say a child was found in a home so filthy it was "unfit for human or animal inhabitance."

According to an arrest report, a family member called the Myrtle Beach Police Department in South Carolina on Saturday to express concerns about two children living at the home of 53-year-old Karen Nickerson. Police say that family member was worried that children were being neglected.

When officers -- along with representatives of animal control -- arrived at the home, no one answered the door, but they could tell someone was inside.

"The smell of animal urine and feces was overwhelming from the door -- and it could be smelled from the street," a police report states. "I knocked on the door and touched the handle at which time the door opened, as it was ajar. Hundreds of roaches fell from around the door frame."

Police say Nickerson was in the living room, and appeared to be drunk and dirty. When she called her juvenile son to her, police say he appeared to have scratch marks and bug bites.

"The home was cluttered, filthy, and had garbage and dirty clothing and feces all over," the police report states. "Hundreds, if not thousand[s] of roaches and bugs were crawling and flying inside and outside the residence."

Police say the juvenile boy told officers that the home had been in this condition "for years" and that his mom has a drinking problem. 

According to the police report, another child had been living in the home, but had recently moved out two days after graduating high school the previous week. Police say Nickerson showed up to that child's graduation the previous Thursday, but collapsed in the school's lobby and was not allowed to see the graduation.

The victims -- both the juvenile boy and the teen who recently graduated high school -- will now live with the teen's father, according to police.

At least 12 cats were also rescued from the home.

Police say the landlord who owns the home agreed to complete a full makeover of the residence.

While outside the home, Nickerson fell on her head and had to be taken to the hospital.

She was eventually taken into custody and charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person by a legal custodian, as well as 12 counts related to the mistreatment of animals.

She is currently being held in J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

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