- Last year Heather and Lakeidric McCoy were charged for neglecting eight children
- A criminal complaint claims the house was covered in rat feces and trash
- Many of the children suffered from being severely underfed and neglected
- Some of the children had bite marks and other injuries from the older children
- Rock County Judge Karl Hanson sentenced the couple to three years probation
Last year, 40-year-old Heather McCoy and 39-year-old Lakeidric McCoy were charged for child neglect concerning eight children in their care in Beloit, Wisconsin. The children were found to be underfed and suffer from various injuries while living in a house allegedly covered in rat droppings, flies and garbage. On Tuesday the McCoys received three years probation for their crimes.
According to the criminal complaint, Heather’s daughter reported the McCoys to the Beloit Police Department after staying at the house for one day in March of last year. The daughter claimed in the “kitchen area there were garbage bags full of clothes and trash all over the kitchen table; rat feces on the floor and on the refrigerator.” When the daughter offered to help clean some of the mess, Heather allegedly told her to “leave it alone.”
Out of the eight children, two of were not related to Heather. They were staying with the McCoys while the mother was in drug rehab in Racine. The majority of the children living at the home were under the age of five. The complaint noted four dogs lived in the house as well. “Officer Hoefs reports that upon entering the residence he smelled a strong odor of mold, garbage, dirty diapers and pet odor in the house,” the complaint read. Hoefs claimed in the complaint there were no toothbrushes for the children or the adults in the house. The shower allegedly had dirt in it and there was said to be rat droppings on the kitchen table.
Heather’s six children were placed in foster care but then later returned to the custody of the McCoys. The two children being watched by the McCoys were taken to their grandmother. The criminal complaint says the grandmother stated she “honestly did not recognize” one of the children “because he was so thin.” The grandmother also claimed she found marks and scars on the children from the older children biting them and hitting them with a belt.
A CPS worker found that seven of the children shared one bedroom. A 1-year-old child did not share the room with the other children. The seven children slept on two queen-sized mattresses that were pushed together. The mattress had new bedding but underneath the mattresses were “extremely stained and had black spots on them.” In the kitchen there was a “large puddle of urine and numerous spots that appeared to be dirt or dried feces.” There was also a non-working refrigerator said to have been full of old food and containers.
Doctors Confirm Child Neglect
According to doctors, many of the children were underfed. It had been more than two years since a 3-year-old child had a checkup. At the time of the last checkup, the child’s weight was in the 40th percentile. The child’s weight was in the first percentile when taken from the McCoy’s home last year. A 2-year-old child was believed to have dry skin from dehydration and a 4-year-old was believed to be throwing up due to not being used to eating so much food. That child had to be placed on a liquid diet. The 1-year-old child had not been to a doctor since he was 1-month-old. He had normal growth from formula but had not been given solid food and did not know how to chew.
According to CPS records, Heather has been reported to CPS 40 times since 1998. Out of those reports, 16 were screened and three were substantiated. In 2010, six of her children were removed from her home when she was married to a different man under the name Heather Foster. Heather told 27 News her “Ex-husband was substantiated for maltreatment, molestation.” During an interview in May of last year, Heather tried to downplay the accusations and said, “The house was in disarray, but it wasn’t what they’re saying it is.” “I already know how CPS works and I know they’ll build a case against anything, how they’re able to twist things,” Heather claimed.
Despite clear red flags of habitual child neglect, the couple was sentenced to three years probation in a Rock County Courtroom on Tuesday morning. Heather was also sentenced to 60 days in Rock County Jail. Despite Heather’s claim that elements of the criminal complaint were not true and embellished, the couple entered a guilty plea. During sentencing, Judge Karl Hanson noted Heather’s dismissive attitude throughout the hearing. In specific, Hanson pointed out the mother had been shaking her head and rolling her eyes throughout the trial. The McCoys still face one more charge of child neglect leading to bodily harm. The charge could be dismissed if the couple successfully completes their probation.