Parents charged after family found living in deplorable conditio - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Parents charged after family found living in deplorable conditions on sailboat

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -

A family of five was living on a small sailboat in conditions described by police as "deplorable," not far from Annapolis. Maryland Natural Resources Police say it was happening in the Magothy River in Anne Arundel County.

The parents, who identified themselves as John and Sherri Kelly, their 22-year-old son, two teenaged boys, and two dogs were all cramped inside a 9 by 10 foot space inside the sailboat.

Police say they were huddled in blankets and sleeping on two filthy makeshift mattresses, with no heat, electricity or running water.

They got the call from concerned citizens before last week's snow. An officer was sent out to see if they needed help, but they refused. He contacted his supervisor, Anne Arundel County Child Protective Services and the U.S. Coast Guard, who ordered a safety inspection on February 14.

Inspectors found bottles filled with urine, bags of feces, and used toilet paper. The two boys, believed to be 13 and 14 years old, told police they didn't come off the boat for weeks at a time. They said they had been surviving on cold, canned food and chili, and according to witnesses, were clearly hungry when they arrived on land.

A man who lives on a house boat at the Magothy Marina tells FOX 5, "They were tearing up the snack machine. They said there wasn't much (to eat) on the boat."

The teens are now in the custody of Anne Arundel County Child Protective Services. On Wednesday, a judge set bond at $50,000 for John Kelly and $25,000 for Sherri Kelly, but both remain behind bars.

They are facing several charges, including felony child abuse, neglect and failing to send their children to school.


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