Portsmouth parents charged with child neglect

Portsmouth, Va. – A Portsmouth couple has been charged with three counts of felony child neglect after three children and two dogs were removed from their home.

On Saturday, a concerned citizen contacted police about the living conditions at a home in the 80 block of Decatur Street.  The citizen indicated several children were living in the home.   

Officers went to the home and found an adult man and three children, ages two, seven and eight.  The man, who was not related to the children, was staying with the kids until the parents returned. 

The officers found the children living in unsuitable and unclean conditions. The home did not have running water, and had not for approximately one week. 

The officers also found animal waste in numerous locations through-out the home. A dog was found roaming the inside of the house, and another was found confined to a crate which was too small for the dog.  

Police notified Child Protective Services and Animal Control Officers. The three children were taken by a family member to another location.  The two dogs were removed pending further investigation. City Building Inspectors were contacted to examine the property due to the conditions. 

Officers were able to locate the parents, 29 year-old, Theodore C. Sykes and 29 year-old, Jenetta L. Sykes, who were arrested and charged with three counts each of felony child neglect.