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19-month old toddler found malnourished and burned

By Debra Myers     Jul 15, 2010 in Crime
Fulton - On June 30, 2010, police entered a Fulton’s couple’s home on a search warrant looking for stolen items only to find the unfurnished apartment in an appalling condition and the couple’s 19-month old toddler malnourished.
On June 30, 2010, investigators searched the home of Jeremy W. Bailey, 22, and Melissa K. Nichols, 17, on a warrant looking for items which had been stolen from the former Fulton Nestle chocolate factory. Bailey was one of six adults that had been charged with burglary, grand larceny, conspiracy plus other charges relating to the June 29 break-in.
It wasn't known until the police began searching the apartment that the couple had a child, who was made to live in unsanitary conditions, was unfed, and the toddler had no bed, no clothes or any toys. Police say the apartment was barren of furniture but there was plenty of garbage and dirty diapers strewn about.
Making matters worse, the police found that the toddler had a burn on her torso, which the mother had explained was an accident, stating that while picking up the baby her lit cigarette fell down into the baby's diaper.
It was also discovered that the toddler hasn't received any of the normal childhood immunizations or well child exams since birth. Police officers that were part of the investigation said the baby looked like she was only a year old, not 19-months old. The toddler is currently in the care of Child Protective Services.
According to the couple, they had moved there four months ago from Florida and had been surviving on public assistance. Since neither had family in the area, they didn't know what to do and often went days without eating or feeding their baby. Investigator Aimee May said that a lot of people knew the couple had a child but did nothing to help.
Police charged Melissa K. Nichols with two counts of child endangerment and one count of assault (stemming from the cigarette burn), each of which are misdemeanors. Nichols was ticketed and released. She is working with Family Court on getting custody of the baby.
Jeremy W. Baily was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and was remanded to Oswego County jail. Bail was set at $5000 cash or $10,000 bond.
More about Crime, Malnourished, Toddler, Abused, Neglected
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