Neighbors shocked by child starvation case

People in NW side neighborhood didn’t know there were children there

Author: Katrina Webber, Reporter, kwebber@ksat.com
Published On: Aug 01 2012 06:04:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2012 06:37:19 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

The arrests of three people on the Northwest side in connection with a child starvation case has come as a shock to their neighbors.

Most people who live along the quiet street said they weren’t even aware there were any children living in the home with Jeremiah Coleman, 29, and Kayela McClintick, 22 (not pictured).

The couple, along with their alleged live-in babysitter, Joann Denise Brown, 22, were arrested Tuesday on two counts each of injury to a child.

"I didn't see any children. I saw children's toys around,” said Brady Patton, who lives two doors down.

An arrest affidavit said police and Child Protective Services had gone to the home after receiving a tip about children who appeared to be neglected. They said during one of those visits, they found the two year old daughter of McClintick and Coleman, and that she appeared to be malnourished.

The affidavit said a doctor examined the girl and found that she had clumps of hair missing, was malnourished and appeared gaunt.

Officers along with CPS workers had to make several trips to the home before they found McClintick’s 6-year-old daughter, who also appeared malnourished, the affidavit stated. Investigators said the older child told them she would often sneak and get food to feed her two year old sister.

They said the 6-year-old told them she and her sister often were kept in a closet, the affidavit stated.

"That's awful. I mean, that's deplorable. I can't believe that would happen," Patton said.

Another neighbor, Virginia Lucio, said she only caught glimpses of the couple who often entered and exited their home through the garage.

She said had no idea they had children, and was more focused on their pitbull puppies who also appeared to be underfed.

“We didn't even know that there were kids there,” Lucio said. “I was here worrying about the dogs, and we didn't even know there were kids even living there."

However, Lucio said she did notice the recent visits from police officers and CPS workers. She said she had an enlightening conversation recently with the couple’s landlords.

"They said that there was nothing in (the house), that the kids didn't even have a bed to sleep on, furniture, nothing," she said. “They had only a TV and a couch.”

Police, though, said that they found much more inside the home — evidence of an escort service. They said the 6-year-old girl also told them both McClintick and Brown would strip for men who came to the home, while making the children hide in a closet.

All three suspects were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, an official at the Bexar County jail said Coleman was due to be released later in the day after posting a $60,000 bond.

For a list of recent stories Katrina Webber has done, click here.