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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Two Horry County women have found themselves behind bars facing child neglect charges after a social worker with the Department of Social Services told police their home had no running water.

In a police report obtained by WMBF News, a DSS social worker told police he had visited a home outside of Conway twice before, warning the two adult females living in the home with children that they must have running water to provide a healthy living environment.

Officers accompanied the social worker on his third visit to the residence on Friday following complainants from a third party that children in the home were ‘dirty and smelly.’

Walking through the home together, officers and the social worker observed that the home still had no running water. The two adults who lived in the home told the social work on his last visit two weeks prior they were working to get the water back on as soon as possible.

According to the police report, the children in the home had been without running water for at least 12 straight days. The odor of the home was described as ‘overwhelming.’

The report states that every surface was covered in trash, dirty dishes and clothes, and there was moldy food on the kitchen counter. The home had a total of three bathrooms, all of which were overflowing with human waste.

The report further stated that the bathroom surfaces were covered in filth.

Full and empty water jugs were found throughout the residence that the juvenile victims and adults were allegedly using to wash their dishes and themselves.

When asked when they last had a bath, one of the victims responded, “I don’t remember, but I think December.” Officers also noticed that the child was sick, and was being self-medicated with cough drops.

The officers on scene took the children living in the home into Emergency Protective Custody.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of the two suspects, 36-year-old Jean Martell and 54-year-old JoAnne Kuppart of Conway, Saturday after the case was presented before a magistrate judge, who found probable cause to charge both with unlawful neglect.

According to J. Reuben Long Detention Center booking records, Martell and Kuppart were taken into custody shortly after 12 p.m. Saturday and charged with Unlawful Neglect Of Child Or Helpless Person By Legal Custodian. Bond was been set at $2,500.


  1. * Proof that children automatically shouldn’t go to the mom after one of her many divorces.

    * Dope is more important than their kids and having running water for them.

    * JoAnne.

    * Horry

  2. Scott on February 17th, 2012
  3. eeeeewwwwwwww! white trash like this should be kept in jail, permanently.

  4. JD Storm on February 17th, 2012
  5. Because their white, they dont get any help from the system. If they were black they would have everything provide for them.

  6. loki on February 17th, 2012
  7. Thats BS loki……I’m tired of caucs that cant get there act together in a system thats been set up for them since the inception of this country……

  8. win won on February 17th, 2012
  9. lol loki… that’ll teach your ancestors to treat the then-minorities like crap, eh chief?

  10. won win on February 17th, 2012
  11. I agree with Loki. There are too many black and hispanic’s who get into the system, use it and abuse it. Then turn around and say that white folks “owe” them…pathetic. I don’t agree with what those two women did, as I have two children of my own who I take care of. I will go without before they ever do…That’s the way all parent’s should see it, and the one’s who don’t feel that way should have their children taken from them.

  12. Monster on February 17th, 2012
  13. This is a strange one all around. First of all, it seems like a fairly routine poor/druggy/mentally ill situation. There are literally 1000s of these type of cases happening all the time. There wasn’t even a picture of the home so I kind of question why this was even included.

    As for the white/black thing. Please drop it, this has NOTHING to do with black people. These women clearly have some problems, I hope they get their act straightened out and provide a better home for the kids.

  14. Armauld on February 17th, 2012
  15. I worked doing mental health visitations ( for research purposes ) in the homes of children who had had traumatic injuries. About 3/4 of the cases I worked on were Black folks. All the scary, trashed, dirty, drug addicted, bug infested, and neglecful cases were black families, all on assistance, and none prosecuted.

    To be fair, the cleanest house I was in belonged to the grandmother of a black boy. I mean so clean you could eat off the floors. And yeah, she was black.

    While ANYONE who lives like this should loose their kids, I think oftentimes blacks go unnoticed or ignored while whites get prosecuted.

    Oh yeah.. having no running water doesn’t mean you have to be a filthy pig.. our ancestors did without it and managed to not smear their fecal matter all over the place.

  16. Frank Inscense on February 17th, 2012
  17. they must have gone to the dirty mexican/black crackhead school of parenting.

  18. eatAdick on February 17th, 2012
  19. Let us revisit the meanings of the words ‘lose’ and ‘loose,’ which are two totally separate words that have nothing to do with each other…

  20. Kinseth on February 18th, 2012
  21. The comments on here should be addressing the issue – that this mother neglected her children, so why has it turned into a race issue? Get a grip people! No wonder nothing ever changes in the country!

  22. TT on February 18th, 2012
  23. I know many black/Mexican families as well as many white families and honestly the white families tend to be more rude, less understanding, and less in tune with their heritage than any black/Mexican families I know. Race has nothing to do with living conditions. I’m disappointed in people these days. They say teenagers are rude and horrible but they need to just look at themselves.

  24. Reall? on February 18th, 2012
  25. This has nothing to do with white or black, trashy people are trashy people. SCUM IS SCUM and scum should not be permitted to reproduce.

    Loki is off topic (and as usual, slightly offensive). BUT, for the sake of arguement, when I asked my State gvt for emergency medical assistance; the 3rd or 4th question I was asked, am I a minority? No? Oh well, sorry we can’t help, did you try getting a job with health benefits? (Actual Suggestion from operator.)

    Oh well, you can unscrew a lightbulb, pitty the same isn’t true about scummy people. I guess republicans and the Catholic church shouldn’t mind flitting the bill for these unwanted children, I mean, clearly, this is what they knew would happen without birth control or abortions, right? OOPS, now I’m off topic and offensive (as usual).

    And Win Won, I would love to know what system your talking about and where I can get in on it. The super rich don’t usually care about any color but green and how to get more of it. They want your money, your strong back and your silent obedience. I guess it isn’t too much to ask, because we give it up every time.

    Welcome to the Moral Majority, now bend over and take it like a man!

  26. NiftyDucky on February 18th, 2012
  27. What the hell else would you expect from white, trailer trash?! Soooo typical of redneck bamas !!

  28. Capo Flynn on February 18th, 2012
  29. F***ing Crystal Meth Tweakers..Putting their kids thru this..Poor kids..its sad but there are many more like them living in these situations b/c their parents can’t get off the Meth..

  30. Yourdaddy on February 18th, 2012
  31. In my neck of the woods, if your water has been shut off due to nonpayment or if you never had it turned on in the first place, you can get your kids taken away within 24 hours unless you find a different place for them to stay. (Also includes dependent adults – elderly, significantly disabled)

    Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason these two got away with it for so long is that they’re white. CPS here will remove minority children from homes if they so much as receive a complaint from someone. White kids? They make sure to investigate first, thoroughly. Or ignore it.

    (I know this as I’ve worked for the county. I know current CPS workers, as well as a former CPS worker who now is an expert witness for neglect cases.)

    There really is no excuse for this. I’ve worked with plenty of folks who were very poor and kept their houses spotless. I also grew up with upper middle-class parents who scrambled to clean the house whenever CPS knocked on the door.

  32. Annaliesa on February 19th, 2012
  33. Have yet to read the story, but Horry County? Horry? Heh.

  34. RedBaronessPigeon on February 19th, 2012
  35. yeah ok just because they couldnt afford to pay water bills doesnt mean they didnt love their children. i think they should have been given a warning and the children be taken to a relative with acceptable conditions. and the warning be that they get things straightened up within a time frame. not jailing them and keeping them from their children. its sickening (and so was the conditions)

  36. kate on February 20th, 2012
  37. Hey win won, who do you think sold us “caucs” the then-minorities anyway? it was their black owners in africa. Isn’t there a government assistance program you could be scamming right now instead of typing gibberish on here?

  38. RED on February 20th, 2012
  39. Kate, did you not read that part that said this was the THIRD visit and that they had already been warned to turn the water back on? Apparently not, or else your post would not exist.. Perhaps try reading the whole article before you post?

  40. airplane on February 21st, 2012
  41. @loki lol you are too chicken to read any messages after the one you wrote cause you can’t think of anything for your position as racist dumbass. Also to the first message there was no mention of drugs so we can’t say they were all about the dope. Lots of lazy ass parents are just lazy without drugs or maybe they drink. I love how everyone here “knows” how this all happened. WHat really happened? Lazy ass parents who can’t take care of themselves.

  42. mrwhyte on February 21st, 2012
  43. Why are you stupid fucks going on about the race of these idiots? The point is that two grown women, who were supposed to parent and take care of these children, failed at supplying basic human needs. That is the only thing that needs to be said. Race has nothing to do with it.

  44. Megbot on February 21st, 2012
  45. No one has mentioned that the MAJORITY of people on assistance in the U.S. are Caucasian. Look it up, the numbers might surprise you. This is not a race issue but, since that is the way you all want it to go…

    This was the third CPS visit and those women had yet to clean up their act. If this had been a hispanic/black household, those kids would have been taken away immediately, if not soon after. It is a sad reality but, having been an MSW, I saw this a lot. Let it go.

    Trash is trash, be it yellow, green, pink, blue, or black. These women brought it on themselves.

  46. Ariana on February 21st, 2012
  47. I see everyone is asumiming drug use and yet I did not read one thing in the article about drug use. They may not have had the money to turn on the water. They should have made other arrangements until they could have gotten help somehow.

  48. LaDonna on February 22nd, 2012
  49. Why being racist about the whole situation and looking down on people who have government assistance? Such a shame for those of u who are being negative. Every race has gov. Assistance..drug problems…etc not only.blacks and mexicans. Child neglect is downright wrong and like i said before, in every race.child maltreatment exists sad but true. Stop pointing fingers at blacks and mexicans
    And dope feens on the system. Its like someone stating ” oh the mahority of caucasians are pedaphiles / sex offenders child molesting rapists etc.

  50. cherry on February 23rd, 2012
  51. um first of all won win.. its their not there. LOL proves Loki’s point right THERE

  52. jen on February 23rd, 2012
  53. Sorry, no excuse for crap like this. Who wants to bet mom had an iPhone with service and had her booze and pack of cigarettes everyday?

  54. AliceinJunkton on February 26th, 2012
  55. “No one has mentioned that the MAJORITY of people on assistance in the U.S. are Caucasian. Look it up, the numbers might surprise you. This is not a race issue but, since that is the way you all want it to go…”

    That’s because the majority of the 300 million people in the US ARE Caucasian.

  56. Megbot on February 27th, 2012
  57. Kids these days. I was 10 years old when my parents sucked as bad as these two lowlifes. I watched the utility guys turn stuff off and when they left I went and turned them back on. Until they went to using padlocks. Lights, gas, and water. Got tired of taking cold baths in the dark. Actually they never turned the water off for some reason, but I knew how to turn it on.
    Now my parents wonder why I don’t call them on holidays or birthdays. Ha

  58. R Fry on February 27th, 2012
  59. We didn’t have indoor plumbing for a year or two when I was a kid (1999-2000). There was however, a spring nearby so we had plenty of fresh water. I hauled water in five gallon buckets to take baths- and an outhouse served just fine. There’s poor and then there is lazy- they’re two completely different things. These people were apparently plain lazy.

  60. Alise on March 4th, 2012
  61. lets not make this about race….there are immaculately clean people from all races/ethinicities just as there are filthy people from all races/ethnicities….so cut the crap. It’s funny to me that people who complain about racial inequality (which goes both ways) are always the ones to bring up the color of someone’s skin first… I wonder why they didn’t have the money to get their water turned on…certainly there are some people who are neglectful and just don’t care, but there are definitely others who just don’t have the means…

  62. Come on people... on March 7th, 2012
  63. There was no running water on the farm my Mother grew up on. They had a well and an outhouse. You drew from the well, took a bath in the “wash house” and used the outhouse when you had to go. Every picture of all ten kids in her family, plus my grandparents and great-grandparents showed clean, healthy people dressed in clean, pressed clothing. There is no excuse for what these two did to the kids.

  64. Good Old Granny on March 15th, 2012
  65. This is just pathetic. Those poor kids. I grew up pretty poor, but NEVER EVER did I go without. CPS should’ve intervened sooner.

  66. Artymus on March 21st, 2012
  67. What the ####? Oh my god!!!! There should not of been a bond set because they need to rot in jail the rest of their lives. I hope the children are never returned if cps says they can if only improvements are made etc. Sending them back would be a very bad and dangerous idea. Those two women need to be beaten within an inch of their lives,made to sit in sewage for several days before going to jail where they belong.

  68. angela on May 20th, 2012
  69. how did this story become about race? I am sorry but everything is not about someone’s race. There is a bigger picture (problem) here that needs to be realized, and it has nothing to do with race.

  70. Heather S on May 22nd, 2012
  71. I agree with alot of the people on here about the racial stuff. Mean as it is, its our opinion, and hey i was raised in the southern area. I got alot of horror stories, but to save the drama i wont go into it. As for the article, i feel bad for those kids, one time our water got shut off because my husband forgot to pay it>< it got turned on the next day, but for the day/night we stayed with my sister in law.

  72. JadesMomma on May 29th, 2012
  73. Let’s look at a few facts here…
    They never mentioned drug use. It’s possible, but we don’t really know. Also, I’ve worked as a type of Big Sister/Mentor for awhile now, and this type of situation happens with any race. Get over it.Now,the exclusion of water does not automatically forfeit a parent’s rights to their children, nor does it mean that they do not love and care for them. As for having had ample opportunity to make amends and re-establish service… well, sometimes money is tight. Sometimes there are medical needs that are life-threatening. Sometimes you just can’t find a job in a small town. No ones really knows except these people. So I think it’s kinda messed up of angela to automatically be so hateful.
    Now, on the other hand, living and filth is unacceptable! Flush your dang toilet with some of the bottled water laying around, it’s not that hard! And the trash everywhere is just disgusting. I don’t know the reasons for all of this, nor do I know the extent of the messiness, but if it was due to drugs or the selfishness of the parent, then, yeah, it is pretty shitty… no pun intended

  74. Heather on June 9th, 2012
  75. Why do you think they relocated to Horry County in the first place? Running water is optional, like granite counter tops. BTW those mug shots are reversed and the before and after of ten years on crystal meth ( or momma’s medication, as it is known to the kids.

  76. Zunkel on June 21st, 2012
  77. “Horry”, how appropriate for them.

  78. Scott on October 18th, 2013
  79. I have been in the system and I am white…I couldn’t provide everything for my kids, so I went for help. The government helped me until I could do it on my own. It doesn’t matter what color you are. What matters is what’s important to you and what you are willing to do for your children. It was embarrassing for me (my parents are far from wealthy but are comfortable financially) to have to accept the help, but it wasn’t for me, it was for my kids, and I would do it again in a heart beat if it meant providing for my children. There is no excuse for not cleaning your kids even if you don’t have running water. You’re telling me there was no one who was willing to offer you a shower for your kids? Child neglect disgusts me and should be taken more seriously than it is. If you aren’t willing to give up your life for your kids, then you should give up your kids.

  80. Mother of 2 on October 18th, 2013

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