DALLAS, N.C. — A North Carolina woman has been charged with child neglect and child abuse after her infant son was found dead on Christmas Eve while authorities say she was apparently on prescription drugs.
It all happened at a home on Temple Lane — a place investigators describe as “filthy with human and animal feces.”
Emergency crews found the mother, 30-year-old Stephanie Tillman, “extremely intoxicated from prescribed medications,” according to a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Her face was beaten and bruised and she told investigators she had been assaulted two days earlier.
According to the Gaston Gazette, the woman’s husband and baby’s father, Jerry Allen, came home Christmas Eve to find the 6-month-old son unresponsive, naked and alone on the couch.
Allen told the 911 dispatcher his son was face down on the couch.
“He’s beyond help, ma’am. He’s beyond help,” Allen said in a recording of the 911 call.
He continued to tell the dispatcher that the mother was asleep and all the children were left naked and hungry.
“They’re probably hungry. Their mother was asleep when I walked in,” Allen told the operator. “They’re butt naked. I don’t know why they’re naked. I don’t understand what happened.”
Tillman was treated at the scene for “what appeared to be extreme intoxication from prescribed medication,” the paper reported.
Two other children were also found in the home and have been taken into custody by social services.
Tillman is also charged with three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency and neglect by parents and three misdemeanor counts of child abuse.
Tillman was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate Tuesday afternoon, where she was served the involuntary manslaughter warrant. She remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $60,000 secured bond.
The investigation into the case remains open.