Two children were taken from this camper Tuesday before it was boarded up and condemned by the city.
Two children were taken from this camper Tuesday before it was boarded up and condemned by the city.

Archived Story

Children found locked in camper

Published 12:31pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013

‘Deplorable’ conditions lead to property’s condemnation

Suffolk police rescued two children on Tuesday from a chained and padlocked camper without air conditioning during an investigation into gang-related activity at a home in the 300 block of North Division Street.

Jeronda Rena Wilson
Jeronda Rena Wilson

The children, a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy, were found alone in the camper with the windows closed, no running water and no air conditioning, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Diana Klink. A power cord from the home provided the only electricity to the trailer.

The children’s diapers “appeared to have not been changed for some time, and they were filthy and covered with bug bites,” Klink stated in a press release. “The infant boy was having difficulty breathing. Conditions in the trailer were deplorable, with soiled diapers, feces- and urine-covered bedding, flea infestation and rotten floor boards.”

While police were investigating, the children’s mother, Jaronda Rena Wilson, 23, of Newport News, soon returned to the home after going to the store to buy beer, Klink stated. She and Laron Huston Neal, 22, of the 300 block of North Division Street were arrested and charged with two counts of abuse and neglect of children, reckless disregard and two counts of cruelty and injuries to children.

Police originally had been called to the residence regarding a fight on June 5, according to Klink. Subsequent investigation revealed that Kimberly Shanqua Shelton, 20, of the 300 block of North Division Street, had allegedly assaulted another woman as part of a gang initiation.

Laron Huston Neal
Laron Huston Neal

Officers from the Neighborhood Enforcement Team obtained search warrants for the home where Shelton had been living and executed those warrants on Tuesday. While they were at the home, they heard children crying in the camper behind the home, Klink stated, and they forced entry into the locked camper.

Marvin Askew, who lives in the home with his mother, claimed he had never heard of Shelton and contended the children were never locked in the camper and were allowed outdoors to play. That’s how they got the bug bites, he said, which were from mosquitoes.

“We’ve got a mosquito problem,” he said. “We live by the swamp.”

Jerry Colbert, a family friend, owns the camper that was parked behind Askew’s house. Colbert said he was letting his son stay in the camper, and the children belonged to his son’s girlfriend, whom he had only known for about two weeks.

Kimberly Shanqua Shelton
Kimberly Shanqua Shelton

Klink said Neal is the brother-in-law of Wilson and babysat the children on occasion. In addition, Askew was arrested Tuesday for trespassing, but Klink said she did not have any information about his arrest.

Klink said the children were transported to Sentara Obici Hospital for medical treatment and were released to their grandfather, who lives in Newport News, with caseworkers from Newport News Child Protective Services assigned to their case.

The property was condemned and boarded up due to conditions in the residence and in the camper, police said. Suffolk Animal Control also took custody of one of two pit bulls at the home.

Askew said the dog, which was unlicensed, had recently been rescued after a nearby resident set it loose and said they did not want the dog anymore. Askew took it in but had not had the chance to get it licensed yet, he said.

The door went unanswered at three neighboring houses when a reporter tried to seek comment.

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  • Savannah Gal

    They showed video of the inside of this trailer on News Channel 3 this afternoon.

    Those poor kids. What mother would take her kids inside a place like that, let along, leave them locked up in there by themselves? I hope she never gets those children back.

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  • vb2suf

    I, too, found this story somewhat confusing. But the bottom line is THE CHILDREN! Lots of relatives and folks who don’t care enough about the lives of completely dependent kids to speak up and/or do the right thing. So sad. Also, I agree that giving these small children to the grandfather may not be the best outcome for them. I hope I am wrong about that.

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  • am

    Much of this story doesn’t make sense. The indication was that police were previously called (June 5th) to the residence for a possible gang related incident involving Shelton, who lives somewhere in the 300 block of the same street. While investigating that incident, they discovered the kids in the camper. Neal is listed as the brother-in-law of Wilson (the babies momma who lives in Newport News) in the article. So Momma and brother-in-law are arrested? The unidentified son of Jerry Colbert (who owns the trailer and allows the unidentified son to live in the trailer on someone else’s property)has not been charged with anything. Why not? Other than the house, is there any connection (or possible connection) with Wilson and Shelton? Did I miss anything here?

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    • mab1960

      am,

      From what I gathered from an earlier story…there was a warrant for Shelton’s arrest for gang related activity (I believe it was assault, fighting for gang initiation). This is how the whole mess started…while searching for Shelton the Police heard children crying from the locked trailer. Heal was inside the house (the locked trailer with the kids was out back) when the Police arrived…he refused to answer the door when the Police knocked. Wilson was arrested after she came back from the store on a beer run for Neal.

      What started out as just a warrant for gang related activity for one person exploded into child abuse and endangerment. It is confusing at first and it took me a minute or two to figure out “who-did-what-to-whom”.

      I hope this helps and did not add more to your confusion.

      Respectfully,

      mab

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  • sillysal

    I am sure, as other commenters here are, that the mother received”checks”. So where were the caseworkers? Now, the property is condemned,after the fact. Where were the housing inspectors before the fact? So, these no-good, worthless, poor people living in ghettoes are all just alike and none are and will ever be as “good ” as those who live in the better places. Never mind those of us who still believe, ” But for the grace of God , there go I , ( or a favorite relative or friend)”.

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  • newshound

    in response to all the comments asking why the neighbors didn’t speak up,did ya’ll miss the part about “gang affilliation”? even good(?) ghetto folk know better than to “snitch”on a “gang member” for fear of retaliation! such protection is a vested right in the mind of these ghetto thugs!

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    • mab1960

      Newshound,

      Your right about the “no snitching” policy…however ghetto thugs will snitch if there is a reward offered or they gain some other benefit (where they can steal from each other).

      A good case in point…a few years ago Habitat for Humanity built a house not to far from my best friend (BTW Habitat for Humanity is a great cause and the family recieving the house is suppose to pay it forward on the next project). The family that moved in were lazy entitlement hogs that trashed the place within the first year. The police had that address memorized due to the number of incidents/complaints. One day the “po po” hauled the mother and boyfriend to jail, the 5 kids went to CPS…then the word got around. Cars started pulling into the driveway, relatives/friends of the homeowner started taking stuff out of the house. Like droves of army ants that house was stripped of all rent to own items, appliances (stove and fridge) and other household items. The bathroom fixtures were stripped along with the copper wire in the house. What was once a nice house that any homeowner would be proud to have was reduced to an empty shell of its former glory.

      My neighbor told me a few years back that a “thug” will not snitch unless he will personally benefit…there is no honor among them.

      Just a few thoughts for what they are worth.

      Respectfully,

      mab

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      • newshound

        yea,I remember when that house was built and turned over to the “gracious”tenants,and I said then, that I thought it was a total waste of resources! thanks for comfirming my thoughts! you can’t help people who refuse to try to help themselves!

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  • TB_suffolklady

    This is ridiculous. The pride of Suffolk…not. Where were the neighbors? Where was decency? Oh yeah THERE IS NONE. Use the system, get that check, go get cash from the grocery store, and get your hair done. Who cares about the kids

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  • blueberry

    This is just gross! But I thought it was funny how on the news the boyfriend was jumping all over the accusations saying she was a good mother and she was on top of those pampers and always took care of her children. He was obviously not talking about the same person.

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  • Savannah Gal

    Disgusting.

    Momma looks ghettofabulous with that weave our taxes no doubt paid for though!

    Betcha momma also has a smexy Rent-To-Own big screen at home too, and a bumpin’ sound system in her ride to boot!

    The reason neighbors likely didn’t call the police is because they have probably tried that, and not received much help. Face it folks, police are less apt to help in certain neighborhoods. Sad, but true.

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    • Lovebug

      This has nothing to do with the Police and why they are willing to help. I know that in every situation, especially when it comes to kids, the Police go above and beyond to do their job. The problem is they can’t be everywhere seeing everything. IF neighbors heard or knew this was going on then some blame should be placed on those folks who choose to stay mum. In these neighborhoods you have to remember that people can be shot in the face right infront of them and they saw NOTHING! The Police can only do so much!

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    • KNRMCO

      I bet they all have smart phones……..

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      • Savannah Gal

        KNRMCO-

        Oh, you know they do, the newest ones available, no doubt.

        Me, I’ll hang onto my phone for so long that when I do go to upgrade, the folks at the AT&T store look at me as if I have a relic in my hand (ha! my husband just traded in his Blackberry with the scroll wheel in the middle just this past year, lol)

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    • mab1960

      Savannah Gal,

      With all due respect, this can not be laid entirely on the doorsteps of Law Enforcement…there is a no snitching rule in the ghetto and a entitlement mentality that makes the older generation shake their head and cringe. Time and time again I have seen mothers scream profanity and verbal threats toward their pre-school children…some cases with a resounding smack to the back of the head (I could hear the dull thunk 20 feet away). I’ve also witnessed mothers allowing their children to run unsupervised throughout the store…running into customers, stealing and destroying merchandise, and raising seven different kinds of hell. I used to be a concerned citizen and a conscientious parent…I had a group of 6 to 8 year olds plow shove their shopping cart into me without so much as an excuse me. When I told the kids to be careful, their momma came around the corner screaming “my kids did’nt do nuffins” (her words) and she started screaming for the manager because she was accusing me of hitting her kids (which the store video proved otherwise).

      I am still a good citizen, but I pick my battles now. I understand that there is a dichotomy in personal responsibility/values, child raising and work ethic that will never change between the young ghetto generation and the rest of society. So I would have to respectfully disagree with your thoughts on Law Enforcement…this wasn’t the fault of insufficient social program’s, tax-payer supported entitlements or political initiatives. These young people did this to themselves…they won’t help themselves and will blame everyone else for their own troubles. There is an old expression…God only helps those who help themselves.

      Sorry for such a long post…my neighbors are just as disgusted with this behavior and have opened my eyes and educated meon a few things

      Just wanted to pass on a few thoughts for what they are worth.

      respectfully,

      mab

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      • Savannah Gal

        Hiya mab1960,

        I don’t wanna make it sound like I think law enforcement doesn’t do their job. I’m sure in a majority of cases, they do, but I think in a neighborhood like that, they take calls with a grain of salt. I know in mine they do, and I’m not downtown or in the one this story is featured in.

        As far as “snitching” goes, I think this kind of thing is different, but I think the neighbors fear for their safety too. I saw this story on 13 news yesterday, and I’ll tell you, if I saw a reporter coming to my door, and the thug that popped up grinning behind the news reporter was standing there, I wouldn’t open my door either. I don’t need my house or car vandalized because someone saw me speaking about the neighborhood trash.

        Now, calls to police are supposed to be confidential, I would assume the same is true with CPS, but unless I *knew* something was going to be done, in my neighborhood, I’ve stopped calling the police, because they don’t do anything. Last time I had to call, they didn’t even bother getting ID for half the group of thugs I called them about, and the laughing that ensued when the police left about who had warrants, etc. was ridiculous. Ah, the pick up the drugs left on the tire of near-by car was awesome, too. My husband called to inquire about the no ID thing, and was told it’s a “discretionary” thing. How about, if you have to tell the thugs to dump out the alcohol in the brown paper bag, being drunk at 4 pm in the front yard with 2 kids under the age of 6 playing in the dirt next to you (without a single toy in sight. Gum balls from the trees are their toys), you check out their ID?

        Call now, not likely, and as far as I knew, I wasn’t calling on anyone that had gang affiliation.

        No disrespect meant, but I lost faith in our PD that day. They saw those kids there, they saw the pants saggin’ down to their knees (of the thugs, that is), they saw the alcohol, etc. Now I get the joy of these kinds of folks thuggin’ around my neighborhood, very close to my ho0me on a regular basis, and I feel unsafe, and I know calling the police is a lost cause.

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      • mab1960

        Savannah,

        I am just as frustrated with our current urban situation as you…and I know that you were not bashing our local LEO’s. I’ve witnessed similar situations where the police were called but very little was done to put the law breakers in jail. About ten years ago I reported a group of youths that were standing in the middle of the street, blocking traffic and fighting in residents front yards. After everything was all said and done, the police left the scene (without any arrests or dispersing the group) and the group was going up to several residents (including myself) asking who called “da po po on dem”.

        The police are just as frustrated…talking with some of the officers it’s like trying to bail out a sinking boat with a broken teacup. Since then I have made it a point to engage all of my neighbors and get to know them…I told them that I was doing a one man good neighbor crusade. The demographics of my neighborhood is 70/30 black/white…and quite frankly, I like all of my neighbors. Most of us are older, in the same age group…and we remember the time when good manners and respect went hand-in-hand. Even though we may look different on the outside, we all have common interests on the inside…especially the homeowners. We all hate the Section 8 duplexes in our neighborhood because two-thirds of the renters are not the best citizens.

        Sorry about digressing a bit…I may be fighting a losing battle, but I believe in knowing my neighbors and helping them out. Along with “situational awareness” (spotting trouble before it starts), I also believe in home security…lights, locks, alarms, a barking dog and a “personal defense tool” (of your own preference in case the thugs get into the house).

        I hope I didn’t sound like I was giving you a hard time on your post…I always try to maintain a respectful, thoughtful and hopefully intelligent aspect to my rhetoric. My apoligies if I have offended.

        Just another penny’s-worth of my thoughts…maybe one day I’ll have enough for a stick of gum;-).

        Respectfully,

        mab

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      • Savannah Gal

        mab-

        That was a great post, and no offense was taken by me at all. I appreciate hearing your take on things and the experiences you’ve had.

        Unfortunately, in my neighborhood, alot of the homes have been vacated (and are abandoned now), or, owned by people that have, I kid you not, 9-10 people in it (3 bedroom, and not large ones at that), or Section 8 renters, because the owners wanted out so bad, they made it a Section 8 rental just so someone pays their mortgage, and they don’t have to live there. It’s horrible. It wasn’t like this 10 years ago when I bought my home, and my husband and I are now desperate to leave.

        I have 2 large dogs (GSD’s), security cameras and lights, and I still feel unsafe. It’s sad when you feel like a prisoner in your home, and I get the police have alot on their plates, but they did the same in my case, left, without even dispersing the group, and we were left with the consequences.

        I wish the few remaining good neighbors I had would stand up, but they don’t, or can’t, and our HOA is useless as well. We need the police to do more, or sadly, the thugs will chase everyone out of Suffolk, and abuse of kids like the ones in this story will be even more common.

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      • mab1960

        Savannah,

        If you can afford the service, find a security system that has a panic button feature on a pendent or watch. This type of service was first established for the elderly that wanted independent living and it has recently evolved for mainstream use for the average homeowner. I would also recommend some area in the home that would provide a bit of safety in case the “bad guys” break-in while you are both at home. This area should have outside communications…no problem if you have a cell phone. I would also recommend purchasing a large can of pepper spray…the bigger the better. Back many years ago when I was stationed in Alaska, we used to carry a large can of “Bear-spray” which was a 16 oz wide area fog of pepper fog. I keep a can of this at home and I call it “roach spray”. I can tell you from personal experience that even a small amount in your face when the wind shifts will make you think that the world has ended. This stuff truly sucks and I’ve never had a problem using it on the bad guys…especially when I’ve warned them to stop.

        My heart really goes out to your situation…neither one of you should have to live in fear and become prisoners in your own home. You have a good start…if you have any family/friends in law enforcement ask them for their advice. Situational awareness is key…observe what is going on around you; if it “don’t look right’ then something is wrong. Since I am retired military, I have a huge network of friends/people that are involved in law enforcement, security and a host of other occupations that catch the bad guys and fight for truth, Justice and the American way.

        I hope you can find a better place to live or your situation improves…please don’t lose your faith in people because you have too afraid to talk to them. That’s when those thug heads win…and they don’t deserve any consideration in my book.

        I hope this has given you a little bit of moral support. In our household we have an emergency action plan for medical, fire, weather and security. It may sound extreme, but it has come in handy several times since we have lived in our house.

        Just a few thoughts.

        respectfully,

        mab

        p.s. Besides being retired military (my wife served 6 years) I was a Boy Scout and never forgot about being prepared.

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      • Savannah Gal

        Mab,

        Thank you for the suggestions and kind words! My ex-husband is a cop for the LAPD and has also told me to get some pepper spray. I’ve thought about it, but wondered if it really works, heh, sounds like I’ll be doing some shopping!

        One of my GSD’s is a trained guard dog (was the dog of a military police officer) and folks around here know it (the dog is NOT friendly while on the property to anyone who does not live in the house and is with me at all times), and won’t dare come in the house, it’s being out in the yard that makes us uncomfortable, like the only safe place is IN the house. Sucks when you can’t enjoy your property.

        We’ve been looking into selling the house, and will likely do so soon. We’d been hoping to ride out the housing slump, but it’s to the point where it’s not worth it. My ex keeps telling us we need to move back to CA (all of our family is there) but we like VA and being away from the hustle and bustle.

        Thanks again, Mab. You’re a good guy and I always enjoy reading what you post.

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  • Will62

    A license is required for a dog but anyone can have children. I hope these kids get “rescued”

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  • mab1960

    Here is something else to think about…I live in the Downtown area where the house are close together (very much like over where our family of the year were arrested) that we cannot help but know/see what our neighbors are doing.I can hear my next door neighbor’s 2 year old pitching a tantrum while each inside our respective houses.

    I believe may be asking the wrong questions…how come the neighbors did not report this type of abuse but it took a couple of Law Enforcement Officers serving a warrant to discover the children? Who is the biggest loser…the parents that locked the kids in the trailer or the neighbors that ignored everything while the kids were screaming/crying their heads off? Tough choice.

    Just a few thoughts.

    respectfully,

    mab

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  • mcdb

    Why give them to family? Where was the family when the kids were locked in the trailer? Where was the family when these worthless people were participating in their gang activity? I guess the kids were locked in the trailer while “mom” got her weave fixed. Nice to see what hard working American’s money pays for. It should pay for tubal ligation and vasectomies.

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    • Lovebug

      No the kids were locked in the trailer while the boyfriend was at the house and mom was gone to pick up beer for her and her man. Makes me 150% ill to see this trash in pics. To think that these babies had such mean nasty looking faces looking down on the day after day. And some wonder why people are growing up to be hateful people. This would be why. Atleast mom and the little round gang banger have some meat on their bones so they won’t starve in jail. This makes me so sick I could run on and on about it all day. Sadly these two young kids are now in the hands of more family. Our system fails over and over again doesn’t it?

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  • KNRMCO

    OMG! I can’t even believe that people would do this to dogs, let alone babies. Please don’t return these children to this breeder, she doesn’t deserve them let alone WANT them.

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  • am

    Too bad Animal Control didn’t take these two into their custody (the so called “adults”, not the kids)

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