Felony child neglect charges for a Ranson, West Virginia, husband and wife continue to stack up as police uncover more crimes.
According to multiple reports, Erik Reed, 42, is currently facing 50 separate counts of child neglect creating risk of injury and 13 counts of child abuse resulting in injury.Now, authorities say, Reed’s own 16-year-old daughter is accusing her father of making her inject him with heroin on a number of occasions.
The case began in early October, when the dire situation for the two children living in the Reeds’s home came to light. Prior to officers entering the residence, the fire department and a Hazmat Team had to enter the family’s dangerously filthy and overrun home to ensure their safety. The home was in chaotic disarray, crammed with piles of trash, stacks of dirty dishes covered with insects, drug paraphernalia, and heroin residue.
During that initial search, authorities said they saw “numerous plastic bottles, buckets, and containers filled with unknown liquids throughout the entire residence.” Tests later revealed the substances to be kerosene and urine.
The house had not had running water for months. When one of the children was asked by a child-care worker how she bathed, the victim responded, “The dog licks me.”
After the search, Detective Cpl. Ronald Kerns said, “In my fifteen years of law enforcement, this is one of the worst houses I’ve ever seen.” Authorities thereafter arrested Erik Reed and his wife Stephanie Reed, 39, and charged them with felonies related to child neglect.During a lengthy investigation, the Charles Town Police Department said they had evidence that Stephanie Reed had also allegedly bilked thousands of dollars from an elderly woman in the community by falsely claiming that her children had cancer. She is currently reportedly facing separate charges of financial exploitation of the elderly and fraudulent schemes.
Stephanie Reed is reported to have approached the 65-year-old victim on a number of occasions for more than two years, saying she would trade odd jobs for money. The older woman said she believes she gave Mrs. Reed at least $20,000 to $25,000, and the suspect almost never followed through with the work.
The fraud victim said she felt concern for the family because they didn’t have money for basic needs, such as paying their electric bill. Reed also allegedly told the woman she needed more support because her children’s cancer treatments were expensive and not completely covered by insurance. The children do not have cancer nor any other serious medical conditions.
The new investigations allege that on top of these already existing charges, that the couple’s 16-year-old daughter was forced to handle dirty syringes and inject Erik Reed with heroin. The Journal reports that if the teen “missed” the vein while attempted to shoot her father up, Erik Reed would grab her by the throat. The teen claims that this happened at least ten times.
The oldest daughter, according to the report, recalled incidents where her father allegedly beat her after she refused to cash her paycheck and give him her money for drugs. She claims she suffered “severe physical abuse” and one time she was punched in the face and body repeatedly.
The daughters were removed from the condemned home and are now in new living arrangements, the report adds.
If you are a victim of the Reeds or if you know anything else about these alleged incidents, please contact the Charles Town Police department directly: (304) 725-2714.
Main photo: Injecting heroin [Psychonaught via Wikimedia Commons]