This week, authorities in Jackson County, West Virginia apprehended a 21-year-old mother, her 24-year-old spouse, and her 22-year-old partner for reportedly confining twin boys, aged 2, in a room for several days and providing them with insufficient meals.
On Monday, May 8, during a press conference, Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger stated that deputies were dispatched to an apartment in the Ripley region after receiving a report about a 2-year-old boy who was unresponsive. The child was first taken to a nearby hospital and later transferred to Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s Hospital before being airlifted to Ruby Memorial.
According to Mellinger, the medical personnel concluded that the boy was experiencing renal failure and was severely malnourished and dehydrated, which the sheriff described as a critical circumstance.
Lylee Gillenwater, along with her boyfriend Brian Casto and husband Michael Gillenwater, were discovered by the Sheriff’s Office to have confined the victim and his twin brother in a locked bedroom for up to six weeks. The trio supposedly dosed the children with medication to induce sleep, thus avoiding parental responsibilities.
Mellinger stated that the boys were frequently dressed only in a diaper and were given bits of ground beef and Cheerios through the door. The neglect allegedly escalated to the point where one of the twins became unconscious.
According to WCHS-TV, it was observed by officials that the entire room was covered in human excrement, causing difficulty in moving around.
According to Mellinger, the victim is facing several medical challenges that must be overcome. The other twin is said to be in a stable state, and a female child who was present in the apartment was safely evacuated.
Lylee Gillenwater, Michael Gillenwater, and Casto were taken into custody and detained at the West Virginia Department of Corrections with a bail amount of $150,000 imposed on each of them.
Two charges of child neglect putting the children in serious danger of injury or death and one charge of child neglect resulting in injury were filed against Michael Gillenwater, while Lylee Gillenwater was charged with two counts of child neglect that resulted in injury. Casto has been accused of one count of child abuse that resulted in injury and one count of child abuse that posed a risk of injury.
The children were taken into custody by Child Protective Services, as reported by WCHS.