Mother charged for neglect of 3 children
MONTGOMERY – Felony assault and endangering the welfare of children charges have been lodged against a 36-year-old Clinton Township mother accused of neglecting and abusing her three children, according to state police.
Sheketh Dyer, of 210 W. Houston Ave., just outside the borough, neglected to “provide proper care for injuries” her infant son suffered, including non-accidental trauma fractured ribs, Trooper Daniel Switzer alleged in court papers.
Dyer neglected to properly care for the infant, who had to be hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville due to “severe malnutrition and extremely low (body) weight,” Switzer said.
It is alleged that Dyer left the infant son home alone to be cared for by his two older brothers, ages 4 and 6, Switzer said, adding that the home was “in very poor condition.”
A criminal investigation began after Dyer brought the malnourished infant to the Geisinger Lycoming Family Practice Center in Montousville on Dec. 20. Medical staff suspected child abuse upon examining the baby, who had fresh scratches “all over his body,” Switzer said in an affidavit.
The baby was transported to the Danville medical facility, and the county’s Department of Children and Youth was alerted. Police also joined the investigation.
When a caseworker and a state trooper visited Dyer’s home the same day, they found her two other sons home alone. “They both had multiple scratches, scars and bruises on their bodies,” Switzer said.
After obtaining a search warrant to go through the property, Switzer found the residence “was extremely cluttered and dirty. I saw several full garbage bags on the floor, a knife on a countertop, rotting potatoes in the pantry, and mouse feces in a cabinet and on the floor,” he said in the affidavit.
On Dec. 24, Dr. Pat Bruno, a child abuse specialist at Geisinger, examined Dyer’s two older sons and determined both were victims of “child physical abuse and neglect,” Switzer said.
A caseworker at the Geisinger Child Advocacy Center in Sunbury spoke with both boys, Switzer said, adding that one son said his mother allegedly “hits him all the time, and has hit him in the head with a phone.” The other son told the caseworker that “Mom is always angry and that she beats him up,” Switzer wrote in the affidavit.
Dyer was taken into custody Saturday night and arraigned before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman on charges of aggravated and simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering.
She was committed to Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.
The children have been placed in emergency protective custody, police said.