“They were distraught, sobbing,” Sibley told The Herald said. “I have three children of my own. I did what works. I bought them ice cream.”
Sibley took the kids in the store and gave them treats, and then other officers took the five children – ages 4, 5, 7, 10 and 12 – to the police department.
The mother went to jail, charged with five counts of unlawful neglect of a child, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, resisting arrest and shoplifting.
“The kids were the victims here,” Sgt. John Buchanan told The Herald. “We all wanted to help them. This was all about these kids after we saw what was going on.”
While talking with the children, the police discovered they had been living in tents and had not eaten in several hours, Edwards said.
“They needed us. Not later. Right then,” Edwards said.
The officers also found out it was one of the girls’ 10th birthday.
“This is what she had to go through on her birthday,” Buchanan told The Herald
Buchanan bought a birthday cake with the girl’s name on it – and balloons.
“We had a birthday party,” he said.
Officers had called agents with the S.C. Department of Social Services. Police could not find any family for the children, so DSS by law had to take custody, The Herald reported.