ROGERSVILLE — The parents of a 2-year-old girl allegedly found naked, locked in her bedroom holding a long knife, and covered with human feces have been charged with child abuse.
The discovery was made Monday morning, although both parents weren’t formally charged until Wednesday.
About 10 a.m. Monday, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office was called to a complaint of possible child neglect at the residence of Thomas Eugene McClellan, 20, and Jennifer Renee McClellan, 21, 148 Austin Mill Road, Rogersville.
Upon their arrival, deputies observed a child later identified as the McClellans’ 2-year-old daughter banging on her bedroom window with what Detective Lt. Randy Collier described as a 12- to 15-inch cake knife. The child was alone in the room.
Deputies made contact with the parents, who were asleep in their bedroom, and advised Thomas McClellan the child was in possession of a knife. Deputies were unable to open the door.
Deputy Reba McLean stated in her report that Thomas McClellan had to force his way into the child’s bedroom by breaking the door frame to gain entry to the room. The door had a childproof lock on the inside to prevent her from getting out.
“Once I entered the bedroom the child was standing naked with the knife in hand, and also with human feces on the child, walls, window and bed,” McLean said. “Upon my investigation I found no food in the refrigerator and rotten food on the counter, stovetop, sink and floor. There was animal feces about the house.
“The residence was cluttered excessively. There was a long gun laying in the parents’ bedroom closet and shells laying on the bedroom floor where the child had access to.”
The Department of Children’s Services was called to the scene and placed the girl in protective custody.
The McClellans were each officially charged on a sole count of “child abuse and child neglect or endangerment” Wednesday about noon and were released from the Hawkins County Jail on bond shortly after