Elizabeth City, N.C. – Alone, dirty and without food or clothing. That’s how court documents say several children were found in a home on Walston Street in Elizabeth City.
Police say they charged the children’s mother, Lakeshia Dawkins and her boyfriend Michael Patterson with five counts of child abuse.
According to police, they were called to the home on Walston Street around 10:50 a.m. on April 18. When they got there, police say they found three kids, ages 2, 3, and 6 outside the home with no parent or caretaker.
According to police, Dawkins had left originally left five children with Patterson. Police say Patterson then left the children in the care of another adult. At some point, they say that adult then left with two of the kids, a one-year-old and 9-year-old, to get items needed for the other children. That left three of the kids home alone.
Officers investigated and say they were unable to find the children’s mother or her boyfriend and charged both with misdemeanor child abuse.
Both were processed and released on bond.
NewsChannel 3 spoke with both Dawkins and Patterson who say they do not know why they are charged since they left the kids in the care of another adult. Both also say the kids and the house were clean when they left.
It’s unclear why the third person involved was not charged. Police say they cannot discuss the circumstances behind why the magistrate chose not to charge that person.
Police say when they found the kids, they were dirty and in need of clothing and clean diapers. Officers took them to the police department and bought the kids food and clothing and cleaned them up.
According to Lt. Boone with the Elizabeth City Police Department, the officers paid for it all out of their own pockets.
The kids were then put into their grandmother’s custody.
NewsChannel 3 has talked to Dawkins in the past, but it was under much different circumstances. On Christmas Eve, police say Dawkins’ husband Linwood Jackson held her and her kids hostage inside the same house on Walston St.
He eventually surrendered to police.
He was supposed to be in court earlier this month but the case was continued.