Report: Woman charged after three young children found playing in road

Latrisha Cline was arrested and charged with child abuse and neglect by the Roane County Sheriff's Office. /Source: (Roane County Sheriff's Office)
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KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Roane County mother was taken into custody and charged with three counts of child abuse and neglect of a child under six after three of her children were found playing in the street and their home in squalid conditions, according to a report from the Roane County Sheriff's Office.

When a passerby found the kids, a one-year-old boy allegedly had no clothes on except for a diaper, and a two-year-old boy was completely naked. The officer reported the oldest child, a three-year-old girl, had on nothing but a black t-shirt.

According to the officer, the children were very dirty. The girl's hair had a hairbow matted into it, and all three were covered in bug bites, said the report.

The officer reported that they could not understand the children's answer when asked where their mom was.

According to the report, two officers approached a nearby home with the front door standing open at 108 Frost Hollow Road.

The officers had to walk to the back door because piles of trash and high weeds were blocking their path to the front porch, the report said.

After no one answered the back door, officers reported they made their way to the front, where they found feces on the porch and saw a woman asleep on a couch. The officer had to shake the woman to wake her, the report said.

The home reportedly had no running water or electricity. The report said there was no refrigerator, and food was all over the floors. The officer also reported that the home was teeming with bugs.

The woman reportedly identified herself to officers as Latrisha Cline and told the officer she had three children who were sleeping in the house. The officer said he informed Cline that her children were found playing in the street and she was reportedly confused.

When the officer asked Cline to gather the children's things, she was unable to locate any clean clothing for them, said the report. The children's rooms were allegedly piled with dirty clothing, old food and dirty diapers the report said. Cline was also not able to find a bottle and had nothing but cereal to feed the older children who were complaining of being hungry, according to the report.

A DCS worker arrived at the scene to pick up the children.

Cline was taken to the Roane County Jail along with another person found in the house who had active warrants.

On July 10, WVLT News spoke to the owner of the home where Cline reportedly lived with the children. The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was "trying to help Latrisha out by giving her a place to stay."

He also told WVLT News that Cline "does love her kids." He said he does not believe the children were actually in the road; he said he's known Cline for five years and said the children were never further than 20 feet from her.

The owner told WVLT News that Cline had been "working late at night before and was exhausted."

The woman who reported the children would not offer a comment on the situation.

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