Neighbor describes family living inside ‘unlivable’ home where parents were arrested, child removed

2-year-old was unbathed, wearing dirty diaper, neighbor says
Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 8:16 PM CST
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GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas man and woman were arrested Monday on allegations that a two year old was living in their home which was filled with trash, urine and fecal matter.

Elisha Diana Gray and Mathew Edward Alderman are being held at the Gregg County Jail on multiple charges including abandoning or endangering a child charges, which is a state jail felony. They are also charged with cruelty to animals.

The home is in the 300 block of Sypert Street in the Liberty City area.

According to a probable cause affidavit, it started as an anonymous tip that a child was not being properly cared for in the Liberty City area. It stated a deputy went to the home and Elisha Gray told him that her name was “Laurie”, and there was no child present. The deputy left to speak with the person who called it in.

Diana Colter lives next door to Elisha Gray and Mathew Alderman and says Monday afternoon she saw someone run up to her back door. It was Gray and a two year old child.

“I let them in the house and later she left and told me that CPS was after her and so I let the baby in the house. I brought her right in the house. I gave her a bath,” Colter said.

Colter says later Alderman came to her home and told Colter he was the two year old’s father.

“I didn’t even know that was her daddy. I thought that was her uncle. I was told that the baby was her sister’s, she was just babysitting,” Colter said.

An investigator and the deputy returned to Alderman’s home, spoke with Gray and discovered that the child and Alderman were at Colter’s home next door.

Alderman gave the deputies permission to search and in the mobile home they discovered the troubling conditions.

“Place was unlivable by all accounts. Our investigators had to go in wearing personal protection equipment, which included Tyvek suits and respirators,” Said Lt. Josh Tubb with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office.

They found over thirty animals living in the home, “Including a rooster, pig possum, rats; numerous rats, dogs,” Tubb clarified.

And the Sheriff’s Office said the home was filthy.

“With large amounts of dirt, animal feces, animal urine that created an immediate risk for this child and the people living in the residence,” Tubb stated.

Gray and Alderman were taken into custody.

“It was just too much, but I wound up keeping the baby until CPS came and got her last night,” Colter added.

Investigators are also looking into allegations that the child may be have been born in the home and never been to a doctor.

The two are being held on bonds totaling $31,000. The animals were removed to be checked out by veterinarians.

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