Published January 20, 2014
Sheriff: Couple left infant home alone
By Julie Snyder email@example.com
HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A Harrison Township couple were charged with child abuse Jan. 17, a day after they allegedly left their 1 ½-year-old son home alone for several hours.
Charelle Rickya-Robin Woods, 21, and Aaron Jaquze Diggs, 19, were arraigned in 41-B District Court in Clinton Township each on one count of fourth degree child abuse.
According to Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, the child was reported missing by Woods at 6:50 p.m. Jan. 16 after she returned to her home in the Glenns Apartment complex on Union Lake Road in Harrison Township.
Woods initially reported that the child was left alone in their apartment while she tended to her broken down vehicle. She said that she checked on the child periodically, but he suddenly became missing. Sheriff’s officials said Woods claimed that she checked the area and contacted family and friends but was unsuccessful in locating the child. She then contacted authorities.
Macomb County Sheriff’s Deputies responded, and with the assistance of Eastpointe, Southfield and Roseville K-9 units, a thorough search of the area was conducted but the child was not located.
Diggs, the child’s father, came to the scene and both parents were brought to the sheriff’s office for further questioning. Sheriff’s detectives began questioning the parents and neighbors in the area. During questioning, detectives said Woods and Diggs changed their stories multiple times and they eventually admitted to leaving the child alone while the father was driven to work in Detroit.
During the interview process, investigators received a phone call from Woods’ father indicating that he had the child and he wanted to speak with investigators.
The child’s grandfather reported that he went to the apartment at around 2:45 p.m., knocked on the door and received no response. He found the door unlocked and entered the apartment finding the infant unattended in his crib. He also indicated that the living conditions of the apartment were “deplorable,” the sheriff reported.
The grandfather said he took the child to his home to see how his daughter would react to the child being missing.
A report by the sheriff’s office states that the grandfather “was totally disgusted when he did speak to his daughter and that she did not mention anything about the child being missing.”
Wickersham said Child Protective Services is investigating, and looking into the well-being of both children residing at the apartment, including a 3-year-old sibling, who was not inside the apartment at the time.
“We don’t know why they left the child alone,” he said.
Magistrate Daniel Goulette of 41B District Court in Clinton Township entered not guilty pleas for both and said the court would appoint them attorneys.
Goulette set Woods’ bond at $2,000 cash surety or 10% and Diggs’ bond at $10,000 cash surety or 10% because of prior failure to comply with court orders and two family-related charges of domestic violence for which Diggs is on probation.
Goulette also ordered that if they post bond they are to comply with any directives that come from any Department of Human Services investigation into the child abuse case.
Their next court date is Feb. 5.