A 5-year-old West Virginia boy was rushed to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after a neighbor found him unresponsive in a car trunk, police said.
According to WSAC 3, the incident happened at a mobile home park off of Bobo Street in Cottageville. The boy was found at around 1:30 p.m. inside a neighbor’s car trunk.
“We found this boy, who at that time had been removed from the vehicle, clearly unconscious, barely breathing, exposed to some extreme heat for extended periods of time and clearly fighting for his life,” Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger said.
Mellinger added that the neighbor was trying to sell his car and when he popped the trunk to show a potential buyer, he found the child. The temperatures that day soared into the 90s.
Authorities then obtained a search warrant for the child’s home. The boy’s parents, identified as Nantail Roberts, 24, and Corey Roberts, 22, live in a mobile home with the victim and three additional children, ranging in ages from one to five.
Police wrote that the home was unsanitary and had a strong smell of urine and feces. It also reportedly had “a multitude of trash, rotten food, flies, maggots, dirty diapers, as well as clutter to the point that it restricted any movement within the home.”
All of the children reportedly appeared unkempt and unbathed, investigators said.
“It’d be hard to say whether this was just a tragic accident through neglect and basically just parents that just don’t really care much about their children, I hate to say it that way,” said Mellinger. “It would be hard for me to fathom and believe with situations like this, the kids are nothing more than a stimulus check to the parents.”
Both Nantail and Corey Roberts were arrested and charged with child neglect resulting in injury and child neglect creating a risk of injury.
CBS 13 reports that Mellinger said the child is still in hospital, on a ventilator.