A Fort Mill couple remained in jail Wednesday on charges of exposing their children to meth in an unsafe unsanitary home with deplorable living conditions, authorities said.
Patrick Keith Peterson Jr., 38, and Jenn Lynn Hartsell, 34, of Sheba Road, are charged with four counts each of unlawful neglect of children.
Sheriff’s detectives were notified last month by the Department of Social Services that the couple’s 1-year-old son tested positive for meth. The toddler was given a hair follicle test after his father tested positive for meth, cocaine and heroin. Also, the child’s mother, Hartsell, was arrested for meth possession and child cruelty charges by Tega Cay police while she was with the child in Walmart on Sept. 10.
A DSS investigation revealed the couple was raising three children (ages 1, 8 and 12) in a filthy home. Detectives went to the home on Sheba Drive, which is in a subdivision behind Twin Lakes Estates. No one answered the door but “the smell of dog feces inside the home could be smelled outside,” a sheriff’s report says.
The couple’s actions placed the children “at unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life, physical health and safety” with the horrible living conditions, including drug exposure, the report says.
The suspects were both captured Monday and taken to jail, where Hartsell is under a $10,000 bond and Peterson is being held on a $8,000 bond.
The Fort Mill Sun obtained information for this story from incident reports, the jail website and online court records.